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University of California Berkeley 

Gift of 

Dr. & Mrs. John C. Craig 



[From an Aquarelle by Robida.] 














&ngflo Variant 







THIS work, although of a scientific nature, has not been 
written exclusively for scientists, for the theme is of so uni- 
versal a scope as to be worthy the attention of all who are con- 
cerned in lessening the trials of humanity, or who wish to 
shape the necessities of life through a more useful and con- 
sequently a more happy being. 

Presuming that such a subject suitably presented will 
awaken popular regard in a matter of common interest, I 
have endeavored to surround a myriad of authentic facts 
Avith sufficient associate detail that is entertaining, and to 
present the data without the dryness usually attributed to sci- 
entific utterance, in a manner, as I trust, that shall maintain 
the attention of the general reader. 

Centuries before the introduction of cocaine to anaesthetic 
uses, the world had been amazed by accounts of the energy 
creating properties ascribed to a plant intimately associated 
with the rites and customs of the ancient Peruvians, and first 
made known through the chroniclers of Spanish conquest in 
America. The history of this plant, known as Coca, is the his- 
tory of the Incan race and is entwined throughout the asso- 
ciations of the vast socialistic Empire of those early people of 
Peru. The story of that remarkable people has been ade- 
quately told through the voluminous writings of a host of his- 
torians, and more connectedly related for English readers in 
the admirable works of Helps and of Prescott. But the true 
story of Coca, which the Incas regarded because of its prop- 
erty of imparting endurance as the "divine plant," has 
hitherto never been fully set forth. Indeed, the "authorita- 
tive" literature of Coca such as contained in text books is 
so filled with inaccuracies and contradictory statements 
that the opinion of a reader seeking information from 
such a source, must fluctuate between the account he might 


last have read and some former utterance which was diametri- 
cally opposite in conclusion. As a result of this want of 
knowledge, much that has been supposed must be forgotten, 
before the mind can be receptive for the truths of Coca which 
are built upon facts^ 4* 

This uncertainty of detail has been the outgrowth of an 
inability on the part of certain experimenters, to obtain from 
the Coca used by them, similar effects to those that had been 
described by South American writers. In some instances, 
this was owing to the speedy deterioration of the leaves and 
their consequent inert condition when experimented with, but 
it is probable that many of these negative results were more 
especially due to a want of understanding of the true nature of 
the plant. Thus, from an expectancy of some marvelous in- 
stantaneous effect, when no phenomenal influence was imme- 
diately apparent the leaves were condemned and their prop- 
erties declared to be legendary. The facts all indicate that, 
the action of Coca is so unique and subtle that it cannot be 
judged by comparison with any other natural product simi- 
larly employed. This truth is embodied by Dr. Searle in the 
following statement: "It is not a little remarkable that 
while no other known substance can rival Coca in its sustain- 
ing power, no other has so little apparent effect. To one 
pursuing the even tenor of his usual routine, the chewing of 
Coca gives no especial sensation. In fact the only result 
seems to be a negative one, viz. : an absence of the customary 
desire for food and sleep. It is only when some unusual de- 
mand is made upon mind or body that its influence is felt. 
And to this fact is to be attributed much of the incredulity of 
those who have carelessly experimented with it and who, ex- 
pecting some internal commotion or sensation, are disap- 
pointed."* Just why this is so cannot be briefly told. It is 
for this reason that the associations, the necessities, the uses 
and the characteristics of the plant are here so fully discussed. 

That Coca has not only not been well known, but barely 
known indirectly among a majority of those who presumably 
should know it physicians who should use it, and teachers 

* Searle, p. 123, 1881. 


who should instruct as to its properties is emphasized by the 
result of an inquiry instituted for the purpose of compiling a 
collective investigation. Upward of ten thousand letters 
were sent to a representative class of practitioners and teaclP 
ers, and a majority of those from whom replies were received 
wrote in a frank way, that they knew absolutely nothing 
about Coca. Others had not employed it because they be- 
lieved it to be inert through a confusion of its name with 
cocoa, or from confounding it with, other products. A few, 
more liberal, expressed a belief that a substance with such 
traditional qualities as those surrounding the "divine plant," 
was probably possessed with properties which when better 
understood, might be made a valuable boon to humanity. 

The present work has been constructed in view of these 
contradictions and uncertainties, and undertakes to trace the 
associations and uses of Coca, from the earliest accounts 
which are to be found. The story which necessarily com- 
mences with the dynasty of the Incas, embodies sufficient of 
the doings and the trials of that mighty Empire and its over- 
throw by the Spanish, as is essential to show the intimate con- 
nection between those people and the history of Coca. This 
has been epitomized from sources of authority and tells of 
the industries, science, arts, poetry, dramas, laws, social sys- 
tem and religious rites of the Incas as gleaned from tradition 
and witnessed in their relics, through all of which is inter- 
woven the uses and applications of Coca. The history of 
that people is sufficiently full of life and color to absorb pro- 
found admiration. To this is added the accounts of con- 
temporary travellers and scientists who have further de- 
tailed the continued dependence of the Andeans upon this 
Incan plant, and who tell of their own personal uses of Coca 
to support them under similar trials to those which the Incas 
experienced, and to which the present Peruvian Indians are 
still subjected. To a better understanding of the necessities 
for such support, the physical aspect of the Andes, together 
with a description of the life and customs of the modern 
Andeans is given, and advances our story to the Peru of to- 
day, a marvelous country of untold wealth and unearned pos- 


sibilities. The characteristics and botanical peculiarities of 
Coca, and the economic uses of plants of the family to 
which it belongs are described, and an effort is made to 
liarmonize the early uses of the substance which are now 
shown to have been of necessity and not of luxury with its 
present employment, through facts of modern physiology. 
The possible causes which may provoke the energy yielding 
properties of plants are considered, and are compared with an- 
alogous processes in the human body. Theichemical problems 
involved in the study of the products of the Coca 7 leaf and an 
account of the isolation of its various alkaloids is concisely 
told, and the possible advantage of Coca to the benefit of 
nerve, to muscle and to better blood are discussed from the 
r.esults of careful investigation by a long list of experimenters. 
The utility of Coca to provoke endurance, its influence in 
voice production and its adaptability as an adjunct to a popu- 
lar dietary is suggested. 

No effort has been made to make this work in any sense a 
book of Coca therapy, but a study of the early necessities and 
the hypothesis here advanced as to the rationale of its em- 
pirical uses will doubtless be ample to impress the true status 
of Coca, and will suggest its application in the affairs of 
modern life for conditions similar to those which originally 
demanded it. This is rendered still more practical by a collec- 
tive investigation on the physiological action and therapeutic 
uses of Coca among several hundred physicians, which is tabu- 
lated in detail. 

In the liberal presentation of any complex problem, it is 
difficult to review all sides of the question without a large 
accumulation of data. This subject therefore has necessi- 
tated the collection of a vast amount of testimony pro and 
con, which as here introduced forms a compilation convenient 
for reference. The facts of Coca history are widely separated, 
through an immense range of literature not readily available 
to the general reader. Much difficulty has beset the gather- 
ing of even the most trivial details, but to build up a work 
which shall be accepted as authoritative because embracing 
the truths of the matter dealt with has required a deep re- 

PREFACE. xiii 

search and the repeated verification of thousands of notes. 
What was collected one day was denied the next; for that 
reason I have been very precise in quoting my authorities, and 
the appended bibliogr.iphy embraces nearly six hundred titles. 
No attempt, has been made to include in this all papers upon 
Coca, but only those consulted or alluded to in the text. It 
will be appreciated that this work deals specifically with the 
parent plant and its several alkaloids and not with merely 
one of these. A relative prominence is given to cocaine, 
however, and its physiological action and therapeutic uses 
is discussed. Cocaine is an alkaloid of Coca that has ex- 
cited a prodigious amount of writing all over the world ; the 
list of its papers as catalogued in the library of the Surgeon- 
General of the United States Army, between 1885 and 1898, 
extends over eighteen columns of large quarto pages, printed 
in small type. 

The result of my labor continued through nearly four 
years must now depend upon whether the subject has been 
treated clearly and made convincing to the reader. As to the 
value of Coca, there cannot be the slightest doubt. As to its 
utter harmlessness there can be no question. Even cocaine, 
against which there has been a cry of perniciousness, is an ally 
to the physician of inestimable worth, greatly superior to 
compare it to a drug of recognized potency, not because of any 
allied qualities to morphine. The evils from cocaine have 
:i risen from its pernicious use, in unguarded doses, where 
u <1 hypodermaticftlly or locally for anesthesia, when an ex- 
cessive dose has often been administered, without estimating 
the amount of the alkaloid that would be absorbed, and which 
might result in systemic symptoms. Medicinally employed, 
cocaine in appropriate dosage is a stimulant that is not only 
harmless, but usually phenomenally beneficial when indi- 

There has been a looseness of interpretation regard- 
ing the term stimulant, which has engendered a dread un- 
founded in fact. There is a vague belief that any substance 
capable of producing stimulation, first elevates the system and 
then depresses it by a corresponding fall. The physiological 


law that stimulants excite to action, and that all functional 
activity is due to stimulation is forgotten or not generally 
appreciated. The name stimulant has commonly suggested 
alcoholics, while alcoholics suggest intoxication and a possible 
degradation. It recalls a thought of De Quincey when told 
that an individual was drunk with opium, that certain terms 
are given too great latitude just as intoxication has been ex- 
tended to all forms of nervous excitement, instead of re- 
stricted to a specific sort of excitement. As expressed by 
him: "Some people have maintained, in my hearing, that 
they have been drunk upon green tea; and a medical 
student in London, for whose knowledge in his profession I 
have reason to feel great respect, assured me, the other day, 
that a patient in recovering from an illness, had got drunk on 

It will be shown by ample testimony that Coca is not only 
a substance innocent as is tea or coffee which are commonly 
accepted popular necessities but that Coca is vastly superior 
to these substances, and more worthy of general use because 
of its depurative action on the blood, as well as through its 
property of provoking a chemico-physiological change in the 
tissues whereby the nerves and muscles are rendered more 
capable for their work. Strong as may appear this assertion, 
I believe that the facts here presented will amply indicate that 
sufficient has not been said upon the benefits to accrue from 
the liberal use of Coca. Indeed, our knowledge of it is 
yet in its infancy, and if this present writing will but excite 
others to continue these investigations and experiments, Coca 
will achieve the position it should maintain as an aid and 
support to humanity worthy the greatest popularity and the 
highest possible respect. 

As a book of reference can be of little practical value when 
its facts may not be readily turned to, I have carefully pre- 
pared an extended index, embraced in which is a glossary of 
Incan or Quichua terms. There is a wide variance in the 
spelling of such words in the writings on Peru, in consequence 
of which there is an uncertainty of meaning when these con- 

* Confessions. 


fusional terms recur. This is due to the fact that the 
Quichua tongue, as spoken by the Incas, was written by the 
early Spanish historians phonetically, and words were con- 
sequently variously spelled. Whenever the Peruvian terms 
herein employed are not assured by local usage, I have taken 
the Standard Dictionary of the English Language (Funk & 
Wagnall's), as my authority. In that volume a greater num- 
ber of words pertaining to this work are found than in any 
other reference book that I have consulted. 

In the furtherance of this investigation I am indebted to 
the kindness of those medical confreres who have replied to 
my inquiries. These correspondents have been in sympathy 
with the importance of the research, and my thanks are here 
expressed for their cordial support. Indeed, while engaged 
in this work, I have been so long under obligations to so many, 
with some of wl*>m a warm intimacy has developed, that 
though I may feel much time and persistent effort has been 
spent, the pursuit of this has not been unalloyed with pleasant 
associations, the memories of which shall long endure. 

I desire to specially acknowledge an indebtedness, for 
courtesies and assistance, to the following gentlemen: To 
Mr. Wilberforce Eames, Librarian of Lennox Library, for 
suggestions in Historical Kesearch ; to Mr. Morris K. Jesup, 
President of the American Museum of Natural History, for 
privileges in the Museum; to Mr. Anthony Woodward, for 
assistance in the Library of that Institution ; to Dr. Franz 
Boaz, for advice in Archaeological Matters ; to Mr. Marshall 
H. Saville, for access to Peruvian Relics ; to Mr. Charles 
Balliard, Metropolitan Museum of Art, for Photographs; to 
Mr. Stansbury Hagar, for notes on his Kesearch in Incan 
Astronomy; t<> Mr. Samuel Mathewson Scott, London, Eng- 
land, for Photographs and details of personal experiences in 
Peru ; to Professor H. H. Rusby, for details of personal ex- 
periences in the Coca region of Bolivia ; to Professor Ralph 
Stockman, University of Glasgow, for reprints and details of 
his research on the Coca Alkaloids ; to Professor A. B. Lyons, 
for Analytic Tables and Processes of Coca Assay ; to Mr. R. L. 
Daus, for suggestions in comparison of Incan Architecture ; to 


Messrs. Parke, Davis & Co., for details of Coca selection and 
Assay; to Messrs. Mariani & Co., for details regarding Coca, 
and for other kindliness ; to Messrs. Boehringer & Soehne, for 
specimens of Cocaine ; to Messrs. Merck & Co., for specimens 
of Coca Products ; to Professor Lucien M. Underwood, Colum- 
bia University, for advice in Botanical Research ; to Captain 
E. L. Zalinski, U. S. A. (retired), for details of personal ex- 
periences on the Andes ; to Dr. Carlton C. Curtis, Lecturer on 
Physiological Botany, at Columbia University, for assistance 
in Histological Research in the Laboratories of that Institu- 
tion, and for reviewing the Botanical Chapters ; to M. Angelo 
Mariarii, Paris, France, for ten Coca plants and for details 
of Coca cultivation in conservatory ; to the Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology, Washington, D. C., for Books and Ethnologi- 
cal details ; to Mr. J. 1ST. Jaros, for Photographs and for many 
courtesies ; to Mr. Herbert Tweddle, for access to an extensive 
and unique Peruvian Collection, for Photographs especially 
made for this work, for Coca Leaves, and for reviewing the 
portions of text relating to Peru. 

Finally I wish to express my appreciation to the publish- 
ers who have carried out the mechanical construction of this 
book ; they have been not only generous, but indulgent in com- 
pleting the work in accordance with my wishes. 

~Nvw YORK, APEIL, 1901. 




Work Necessary to Existence. Activity Means Life, Stagnation 
Implies Death. Modern Man Eminently Nervous. Supersti- 
tious Belief Seems Inherent. Early Attacks Against Scientific 
Progress. Chloroform Unholy. Cinchona Quackery. Vaccina- 
tion Humbug. Tea, Coffee and Chocolate to Be Prohibited by 
Parliament. The Properties of Coca Superior to That of All 
Known Plants. Coca Used by Millions, Yet Still Generally Un- 
known. Neglect Through Ignorance. Cocaine Is Not Coca. 
Coca Conducive to Longevity. Superstitious Regard Often the 
Foundation of Fact. Coca an Exact Power, Not a Luxury. 
Cocaine Habit a Sensational Falsity. Serranos of Andes Could 
Not Exist Without Coca. Civilization Demands Adaptation of 
Earth's Bounties for Modern Effort. A Legend of Coca of Long 
Ago Pages 1-27 



Peru the Cradle of the Human Race. Incan Relics Tell of Their 
Greatness. Attempt to Trace Incan Origin Through Peruvian 
Folk-Lore. Relation of the Incans to Other Nations. Manco 
Ccapac and His Sister-Wife. Origin of Incan Legends. The 
Shaping of the Hills. Growth of the Empire. Division of the 
People. Officers of Government. Dress of the Sovereign. The 
Royal Harem. Physical Appearance of the Race. Model Civil 
Laws. Industry Insisted Upon. Handicraft of the Incans. 
Incas the Highest. Type of Socialism. Government Finds Both 
Wife and Home. Great Endurance of the Race Promoted by 
Coca. Marvelous Memory. History by Oral Tradition. Poetry 
of the Incans. The Drama of Ollantay a Worthy Plot for Comic 
Opera. The Line of Sovereigns 28-54 



Prevalence of Sun Worship. Its Association with Nature Wor- 
ship. Coca Typical of Force. Incan Rites Similar to Eastern 
Forms. Origin of Brahma's Four Heads. Phallic Worship. 
Serpent Worship. Incan Temple of the Sun. Its Magnificence. 
Coca Plants of Gold. Beauty of the Virgins. Sacrifices of 
Coca. Astronomy of the Incans. Succession of the Months. 
The Annual Games and Sacrifices. The Ceremony of Knight- 
hood. Festivals of the Equinoxes. Offerings to the Dead. 
Coca Assures Paradise. Spain's Petrified Kings. The Myth of 
Creation. Incan Reverence for the Dead. Elaborate Tapes- 
tries. Cleverness of Device in Incan Pottery. Whistling Jugs 
and Portrait Vases. The Winged Puma. Hunting for Antiqui- 
ties. Coca Empirically Used for the Throat. Beauty of the 
Relics. Peruvian Mummies. Druidical Stone Temples. Incan 
Stone Monuments. Curious Trephined Skulls. Division of the 
Empire Pages 55-89 



The Search for Gold. First Expedition of Pizarro. The Second 
Expedition. In the Realm of the Incas. Hardships and Perils 
of the Spaniards. Pizarro Goes to Spain. The Crown Extends 
Its Patronage to the Adventurers. Third Expedition. Capture 
of the Sovereign. The Golden Ransom. Execution of Ata- 
hualpa. Dividing the Golden Spoils. Establishment of Manco. 
Pizarro's Incan Union. Violent Deaths of the Conquerors. 
Spain Assumes Control of Peru. Incan Oppression Under 
Spanish Rule. Attempt to Destroy Coca. Prejudice Against 
the Indians. Coca Tolerated Through Necessity. Oppression 
of Church and State. Indians Driven to Slavery and Death. 
Coca Enriched the Government. Cinchona Bark Made Known. 
Immense Natural Wealth of Peru. The Last of the Conquer- 
ors Upholds the Incas to the King 90-118 



Environment Should Be Appreciated to Understand the Benefits of 
Coca. Barrenness of the Coast. Resources of the Land. The 
Mighty Andes. Absence of Rain on the Coast. Earthquakes 


and Tidal Waves. Effect of Irrigation. Thfe Mists of the Coast. 
Peru a Land of Every Climate. Vast Petroleum Fields. Ex- 
tensive Fertile Valleys. Coca and the Potato Preserved 
Through Centuries. Nitrates a Source of Wealth. Down the 
Coast to Mollendo. The Southern Railroad of Peru. The 
Quaint City of Arequipa. Across the Andes by Railroad. A 
Steamboat Over the Mountains. Mule-Back to the Eastern Mon- 
tana. Coldness of the High Altitudes. Grandeur of Andean 
Scenery. To the Northern Montana by Rail. The Northern 
Railroad of Peru. Famous Silver Mines. Chocolate, Bananas 
and Coca the Chief Food. The Fertile Plain of Cuzco. Lake 
Titicaca, 12,545 Feet Above the Sea. The Vast Ruins of Tia- 
huanaco. Cyclopean Relics of Unknown Origin. A Trip to 
Cuzco, the Incan Capital. The Palaces of the Incas. Coca and 
Wool the Chief Commerce Pages 119-147 



Coca Survived Persecution. Early Americans Leagued with the 
Devil. Cieza Tells of the Incans. Coca Greatest of Incan 
Plants. Coca Known in Europe, 1550. Father Acosta Praises 
Coca. The Mines of Potosi. Royal Fifth 3,000,000 Ducats. 
Necessity for Coca Absolute. First Coca Plantation in Eastern 
Montana, 1197. Father Valera's Appeal for Coca. The Incan 
Garcilasso Describes Coca, 1609. Early Use of Coca Along Car- 
ribean Coast.^Expedition of La Condamine, 1735. The Botan- 
ist Jussieu Explores Peruvian Flora. Early Errors in Describ- 
ing Coca. Dr. Unanue Advocates Coca. Supposed Mystery in 
Coca Sustenance. Coca Used in the Army. General Miller in 
War for Independence. Five Days Without Other Food Than 
Coca. Coca Conducive to Longevity. Expedition of Count Cas- 
telnau. Prescott and Helps Refer to Coca. U. S. Expedition 
of Herndon and Gibbon, 1851. Peruvian Coca Prized Above 
Bolivian. Essay of Dr. Mantegazza. 1859. Markham Collects 
Cinchona for India and Praises Coca. Angelo Mariani Adapts 
Coca to Modern Necessities, 1859. The Praise of Coca Universal. 
Benefits of Coca Not Exclusively in Cocaine 148-183 


Divisions of the Country. The Present People of Peru. The Savage 
Indians. The Cholas of the Coast. A Country of Holidays. 
Chicha the Royal Drink. Lima the City of the Kings. Catholic 


Indians. Serranos Descendants of the Incans. Their Poetry 
and Love Songs. The Quichua Tongue. A Personally Con- 
ducted Tour over the Andes Coca a Measure of Time. In- 
dustry of the Indians. Take First, Pay Afterward. Stillness 
of the Andes. The Evil Eye. How the Indian Chews Coca. 
One Chew for Three Kilometres. A Hundred Leagues on 
Coca. Labors of the Andeans. Gold in Every Mountain 
Stream. The Llama the Andean Pack. Sources of Wool. The 
Giant Vulture. Perils of High Altitudes. Coca Strengthens 
Heart and Respiration. Frozen Supplies the Daily Ration. 
Coca Helps a Man to Live, Whisky Makes Him Row a Boat. 
Luscious Fruits of the Sierra ..................... Pages 184-226 



Distribution of the Family. Coca First Botanically Described. 
1692. Classification of the Early Botanists. Characteristics of 
Coca. The Home of Coca. Cuzco the Incan Center of Cultiva- 
tion. Modern Peruvian Cocals. Essentials for Successful Coca 
Growing. Preparation of the Nursery. Care of the Young 
Plants. The Harvesting of Coca. Drying and Curing the Leaf. 
Beauty of the Fruit. Pests of the Coca Shrub. Marvelous 
Ants. Beautiful Lichens. Uniformity of Traditional Char- 
acteristics. Great Antiquity of Coca. Example from an An- 
cient Mummy Pack. Comparison with Modern Coca. Commer- 
cial Coca Chosen for Cocaine. Varieties of Coca. Peruvian 
Coca the Classic Type. Distribution of Coca in the East. Simi- 
larity of Conditions in Tea, Coffee and Coca Culture. Superior- 
ity of Coca for General Use. Technical Details of Coca. The 
Shrub. Root. Trunk. Leaves. Flower. Seed. . ..227-264 



The Eastern Montana. Terraced Mountains. Cultivation of Coca. 
Customs of the Incas Continued. Grandeur of the Montana. 
Wealth of Orchids and Dainty Flowers. Yield of the Coca 
Shrub. Packing Coca for Shipment. Varieties of Commercial 
Coca. Possible Source of Error in Judging Coca. Cocaine Is 
Not Coca. Care Essential to Preserve Qualities of Coca. Odor 
of Choice Coca Agreeable. Properly Cured and Packed Coca 
Will Keep for Years. Annual Yield of Coca, 40,000,000 Pounds. 


Stability of Price of Coca. Efforts to Improve Packing and 
Transportation. Search for El Dorado. Interest in the Amazon 
Valley. U. S. Gunboat Ascends the Mighty Amazon 2,300 Miles. 
Tropical Nature of the Stream. Savage Tribes of Indians. 
The Head Hunters. Journeying 9,000 Miles to Avoid 400. 
Tailed Men. Incan Navigators. Curare the Indian Arrow 
Poison. Hunting with the Blow Gun. The Lost Soul Bird. 
Native Cure for Snake Bite. Clay Eaters. South American 
Bread. Rubber Collecting Pages 265-289 



Search for the Energy of Coca. Early Chemical Knowledge Insuf- 
ficient for Analysis. The Father of Chemistry Explains Coca 
Properties. Research of Liebig and Woehler. Early Spanish 
Accounts of Energy from Coca. The Alkaline Addition to the 
Leaves a Supposed Factor. First Attempts to Extract an Alka- 
loid. Dr. Scherzer Brings Coca from Peru. Niemann under 
Woehler Isolates Cocaine, 1859. Subsequent Experiments by 
Maisch. Lossen Describes Three New Bases, 1862. Impurity 
of Early Cocaine. The Uncrystallizable Bases. Proof of Asso- 
ciate Alkaloids. Superiority of Coca to Cocaine. Controversy 
over Coca Bases. The Volatile Oily Bases. Crude Cocaine Not 
a Single Base. Influence of the Methyl and Benzoyl Radical. 
Building Up Other Bases. Manufacture of Artificial Cocaine. 
Yield of Alkaloid from Coca. Simple Process for Cocaine Manu- 
facture. Assay of Coca for Alkaloids. Test for Determining 
Purity of Cocaine. Table of the Coca Products. Cocaine Manu- 
facture in Peru. Assay of Crude Cocaine. Characteristics of 
Cocaine 290-319 



Similarity of Plant and Animal Life. First Separation of Alka- 
loids. Their Chemical Composition. Interdependence of Or- 
ganized Bodies. The Sun a Mighty Alchemist. Matter Inde- 
structible. Importance of Carbon. Formative Property of 
Nitrogenous Influence in Coca to Create Energy. Assimilation 
Only through Solution. All Living Things Composed of Cells. 
The Formation of Chlorophyl. Production of Starch. The 
Vegetable Acids. The Building of Proteids. Waste of Nltro- 


genous Structures. How Nitrogen Is Introduced. Influence of 
the Leaf. Excreta Analogous in Plants and Animals. Modifica- 
tion of Plants by Culture. Possibility of Regulating Alkaloid 
Production. Influence of Light and Temperature. Effects of 
Water. Influence of Altitude. Effect of Electrical Condi- 
tions. Influence of "Mossing." Proportionate Yield of Alka- 
loids from Coca Pages 320-345 



Activity Conducive to Health. Source of Muscular Energy. Incan 
Reliance upon Coca. Varieties of Muscle. Influence of Nerves 
on Muscle. Contraction Inherent in Muscle. Energy Due to 
Chemical Change. Theories of Food Influence. Falsity of 
"Wear and Tear" Theory. Urea Not an Index of Work. Form- 
ative Power of Coca. Poisonous Products of Tissue Waste. 
Functions of the Liver on Excreta. Effect of Excreta on the 
Tissues. Fatigue Results from Used-up Supplies and Retained 
Waste. Poisonous Products of Indigestion. Proof that Waste 
Impedes Activity. Pure Blood Favors Repair. Uric Acid a 
Possible Source of Depression. Coca by Freeing Blood Stream 
Abolishes Fatigue. Experiments with Coca Suggested by Lie- 
big. Coca Chewers More Competent than Alcohol and Tobacco 
Users. Remarkable Benefit of Coca on Endurance. Professor 
Christison Considers "Coca Not Only Removes Fatigue, but Pre- 
vents it." Energy Derived from Conversion of Storage Food. 
Use of Coca among Athletes. The Philosophy of this Seeming 
Panacea 346-372 



No Standard of Health. Functions Influenced through the Mind. 
Result of Overstrain. Influence of Coca. Development of 
Brain Cells. Sympathetic Action. Neurasthenia from Un- 
trained Will. Influence of Tissue Waste. Overstrung Organi- 
zations. The Genetic Influence. Push for Supremacy Excites 
to Overwork.- Types of Neurasthenia. Reflex Nature of the 
Disorder. Plethoric Prosperity a Cause of Nervousness. 
Cases for Advertising Quacks. The "Jack the Ripper" Type. 
Unburdening an Overtroubled Mind. Subtle Relations Be- 
tween Mind and Body. Personal Hypnotism. Diagnosis vs. 
Treatment. "Specifics" of Therapy Few. Should Physicians 

CONTENTS. xxiii 

Instruct Patients? The Physician as a Personal Factor. 
General Plan of Treatment. Coca an Adjunct to Food. Effi- 
cacy of Water. Coca Superior to Bromides. Controversy on 
Food Use of Alcohol Pages 373-399 



History Built from Tradition. Early Association of Coca. Science 
Demands Exactitude. Medicine Commonly Empirical. Growth 
of Physiology. Fallacy of "Vital Force." Confusion of the 
Term Stimulant. Coca Like Food a Stimulant. Some Early 
Experiments with Coca. Coca Calls Out the Powers Without 
After-Depression. Coca a Marvelous Heart Tonic. Early Con- 
fusion Regarding Cocaine. First Authentic Account of Adap- 
tation of Cocaine to Surgery. Action of Cocaine on the Eye. 
Supposed Cause of Anaesthetic Influence. Cell Life First Stim- 
ulated, then Inhibited. Anaesthesia by Application to Nerve 
Trunks. Motor Branches Only Influenced through Sensory 
Nerves. Action of the Several Important Bases. Cocaine 
Directly Affects Nerves, Coca Maintains a Balance over Nerve 
and Muscle. False Deductions Erroneously Quoted as Fact. 
Dose and Application of Coca. Coca Is Not Poisonous. Experi- 
ments with Excessive Doses of Cocaine. No so-called "Cocaine 
riabit." Action of Cocaine. Treatment of Cocaine Poisoning. 
Determination of the Alkaloid in Animal Remains.. ..400-435 



Musical Sounds Older than Language. Association of Music with 
Religion. Some Ancient Musical Instruments. Songs of Forty 
Centuries. An Early Incan Love Song. Peruvian Musical In- 
struments. Origin of Modern Musical Scale. Influence of Rome 
on Musical Culture. Similarity of Incan Songs to Psalms of 
Hebrews. Science of Harmonics. Analogy of Music and Color. 
Larynx a Natural Musical Instrument. Influence of Coca on 
Vocal Cords. What Constitutes Voice. Compass of the Voice. 
Voice Production. Impossibility of Foretelling Virtuosi. 
Voice Depends on Structure. Advantage of Cultivation. Coca 
a Tensor of Vocal Cords. Influence of Coca on Respiration. 
Effect of Respiration on the Organism. Derangements of Re- 
spiratory Functions. Benefit of Deep Breathing. Profound Ex- 
ertion from Use of Voice. Systemic Effects of Coca. Benefit 


Shown in Mountain Climbing. Coca Increases the Chemical 
Processes of the Body and Augments Respiration. Mountain 
Sickness Due to Retained Waste Pages 436-462 



Confusion of Coca with Cocoa. Coca Not Generally Known. Some 
Modern Instances of Error. Peruvian Traditions Link Coca 
with Endurance. Politic Influence Established Early Errors. 
Coca an Aid to Nutrition. Popular Idea of Food Inaccurate. 
Early Choice of Food Stuffs. Indulgence in Primitive Times. 
Dietetic Fluctuation between Starvation and Satiety. The Mod- 
ern Physician Must Guide. Utilized Food the Only True Food. 
Man a Converting Machine. Energy Results from Chemical 
Union. Variation of Food Elements. Comparison of the Nitro- 
genous with Carbohydrates. Importance of Entire Alimentary 
Tract. The Digestive Process. Coca Furthers Digestion. 
Probable Food Value of Coca. Influence of the Liver on Nutri- 
tion. Effect of Cocaine on Glycogen. The Object of Food. 
No Exclusive Food. Waste Occasions Energy. Food Should 
Repair Waste. Amount of Food a Relative One. Nervous Ten- 
sion a Source of Deranged Digestion. Coca Not Only an Emer- 
gency Food but Provokes Assimilation 463-488 



Method of the Investigation. Ten Thousand Letters Sent Out. 
Twelve Hundred and Six Replies Received. All Observations 
Given Equal Prominence. Coca Erroneously Presumed to be 
Inert. Confusion of Coca with Other Substances. Coca Admit- 
ted to the United States Pharmacopeia, 1882. Coca Admitted 
to the British Pharmacopoeia, 1885. Text-books Filled with In- 
accuracies Concerning Coca. Coca Physiologically as Mild as 
Tea and Coffee, but Less Injurious than These. Coca Purifies 
the Blood and Chemically Creates Energy. Reports Received 
from Three Hundred and Sixty-Nine Correspondents 491-492 


[Collective Investigation.} 

Action of Coca on Appetite. On the Blood Pressure. Circulation. 
Digestive Functions. On the Heart. Heat of Skin. Influence 


on the Mind. Effect on Muscle. On Nerve. Influence on Nutri- 
tion. Peripheral Sensations. Pupils. Secretions. Bowels. 
Mucous Surfaces. Activity of Skin. Urine. Respiration. 
Sexual Functions. Sleep. Bodily Temperature. Flow of Sa- 
liva Pages 492-498 


[Collect ire Inn'xt'ujutifin.] 

Coca as a Stimulant. As a Tonic. Report against Habit Ten- 
dency. Habit of Neurotic Origin. Antagonism of Coca to Al- 
cohol and Opium. Coca in Anaemia. In Alcoholism. Angina 
Pectoris. Asthma. Brain Troubles. Bronchitis. Debility. 
Exhaustion. Fevers. Coca as a Heart Tonic. Kidneys. La 
Grippe. Lung Troubles. Melancholia. Muscles. Nerves. 
Against Neurasthenia. In Nutrition. For Overwork. In Sex- 
ual Exhaustion. Shock. Stomach Troubles. For the Throat. 
In Voice Production. Convalescence.. ..498-504 




In Phthisis. Pneumonia. Typhoid Fever. Gastric Carcinoma. 
Intestinal Constriction. Cancer* of Pharynx 505 




TION 509-516 





Cover design by the Author. 

Frontispiece: Mama Coca Presenting the "Divine Plant" to the 
World. [Full page half-tone from a painting by Robida.] 


Head-piece: Chapter I, Incan border and Coca spray. Atalaya. . I 

Initial "I." Jouvence '. . .. l 

Medicine Man, Arhouaque Indians, Colombia. After Madame 

Crampel [Brettes] 3 

An Early Idea of the Discovery. After DeBry, 1600 5 

A Coca Spray. Drawn from nature 6 

An Andean Nurse. From a photograph 12 

A Coca Carrier. From a photograph 14 

Some Descendants of the Incans. After Marcoy 18 

Mammoth Stone at Baalbek, Syria. From a photograph 25 

A Coca Goddess. Illustrating a Legend of Coca 26 

Tail-piece: Spanish Caravel. After DeBry, 1600 27 

Head-piece: Chapter II, Inca Carried in State. After DeBry, 

1600 28 

Initial "I," Sovereign Inca 28 

Group of Peruvian Vases, Tweddle Collection 30 

Manco Ccapac and Mama Ocllo Huaco. After Rivero and Tschudi 33 
Incan Tapestry of Fine Wool. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page 

half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 34 

An Incan Poncho or Shirt. After Wiener 38 

Examples of Incan Ponchos. After Wiener 39 

Finely Woven Incan Pouches. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page 

half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 44 

Examples of Incan Necklaces. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page 

half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 49 

Tail-piece: Incan Warriors. From a painting at Cuzco, Peru. .. 54 

Head-piece: Chapter III, Incan Tapestry and Coca. Atalaya.. 55 

Initial "T," Sculptured Rock at Concacha, Peru 55 

Incan Tapestry of Fine Wool. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page 

half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 59 

Lingam in Indian Temple. Richard Payne Knight 61 

Escutcheon of the Incas, granted by Charles V, in 1544 63 

Examples of Incan Earrings. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page half- 
tone, from a lithograph in colors] 71 

Petrified Body of Charles V of Spain 74 

Decapitating Rock Vase. Tweddle Collection 76 

Digesting Cactus Vase. Tweddle Collection 77 

Painting Representing Sun Worship. From a Vase at Cuzco, 

Peru. Wiener 78 

Peruvian Winged Puma. Tweddle Collection 79 




Bolivian Picture Writing. Wiener 80 

Plaque Representing Incan Warriors. Tweddle Collection 81 

Celtic Temple Similar to Incan Sun Circles. Richard Payne 

Knight 34 

An Example of Peruvian Trephining. Muiiiz Collection. [Full 

page illustration from United States National Museum] 87 

Tail-piece: Entwined Serpents and Coca 89 

Head-piece: Chapter IV, Battle of Cuzco. After DeBry, 1600. . . 90 

Initial "L," A Conquistador. After Atalaya 90 

Incan Slings. Reiss and Stiibel. [Pull page half-tone, from a 

lithograph in colors] 93 

Peruvian Balsa. After Marcoy 94 

Pizarro on the Coast of Peru. After DeBry, 1600 96 

Peruvian Mummies, Showing Position of the Body in the Pack. 
Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page half-tone, from a lithograph 

in colors] 101 

Pizarro's Mark [El Marg Pizarro] 104 

Portraits of the Inca's Manco Ccapac, Huayna Ccapac and Huas- 

car 106 

Peruvian Vases; Polished Ware. Tweddle Collection 109 

Peruvian Animal Vases. Tweddle Collection no 

Peruvian Vases; Incas and a Plebeian. Tweddle Collection 113 

Group of Llamas. From a photograph 116 

Tail-piece: Incan Relics. Atalaya 118 

Head-piece: Chapter V, Andes from the Coast. From a photo- 
graph 119 

Initial "M," Coca Spray. After St. Andre 119 

Scenes in the Andes. Group of seven views. [Full page half- 
tone, from photographs] 123 

Across a Cacti Desert. From a sketch by H. W. C. Tweddle 126 

Peruvian Vases and a Doll. Tweddle Collection 129 

Arequipa from the Chile River. From a photograph 131 

Post House at Azangaro, Peru; altitude 13,500 feet. From a pho- 
tograph 135 

Llamas Carrying Coca. From a photograph 140 

Ruins of Tiahuanaco. Stiibel and Uhle 141 

Monolithic Doorway, Tiahuanaco. Stiibel and Uhle 142 

Detail of Figures on Frieze; Monolithic Doorway, Tiahuanaco. 

Stiibel and Uhle 143 

Central Figure; Monolithic Doorway, Tiahuanaco. Stiibel and 

Uhle 144 

Plan of Incan Capital. [Ancient and Modern Cuzco, after Wie- 
ner and Squier] 146 

Tail-piece : Llama in a Cocal 147 

Head-piece: Chapter VI, Peruvian Vases. Tweddle Collection .. 148 

Initial "D," Coca Goddess 14g 

Early Spanish Devil. After DeBry, 1600 149 

Incans Gathering Coca. After DeBry, 1600 152 

Modern Potosi. From a photograph 156 

Borders of Incan Tapestry. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page half- 
tone, from a lithograph in colors] . 161 



Esquimo Sun Shield; A. J. Stone. From a photograph 165 

Augustin Pyrame de Candoile; Portrait. From a photograph... 169 

Carl von Martius; Portrait. From a lithograph 171 

Coca Pickers. After DeBry, 1600 173 

Angelo Mariani. From a photograph 177 

Mariani's Coca Garden, Neuilly on the Seine, Paris, France. 

[Full page half-tone, group of views from photographs] .... 181 
Tail-piece: Coca Motif in Leather Screen. St. Andre. [Collec- 
tion of J. N. Jarosl 183 

Head-piece: Chapter VII, An Andean Hut. From a photograph.. 184 

Initial "P," Andean Ccepi, or burden bearer 184 

Andean Alcalde. From a photograph 185 

A Chicha Seller. From a photograph 188 

Views of Lima, Peru. Plate I. [Full page half-tone, group of 

seven views from photographs] 191 

Views of Lima, Peru. Plate II. [Full page half-tone, group of 

six views from photographs] 194 

Andean Plow, or Rejki. From a photograph 196 

Ready for the Start. From a photograph 202 

Views of Lima, Peru. Plate III. [Full page half-tone, group of 

seven views from photographs] 206 

Poporo, or Gourd for Carrying Llipta. Mariani Collection 210 

Andean Stone Heap to Pachacamac 215 

Tail-piece: An Andean Hacienda. From a photograph 226 

Head-piece: Chapter VIII, Drying Sheds for Coca. From a pho- 
tograph 227 

Initial "C," Coca Spray 227 

The Botanist Linnaeus in Early Life; Portrait. From a photo- 
graph 229 

Carl von Linne; Portrait. From a lithograph 230 

Sir W. J. Hooker; Portrait. From a photograph 231 

Aime" Bonpland ; Portrait. From a photograph 233 

Young Coca Plants, showing fibrous root. Drawn from nature. . 236 

A Little Coca Picker. After Brettes 240 

Ten Coca Plants Received from Paris. From a photograph 242 

Lacco. or Lichens on Specimens of Coca. Drawn from nature. . . 245 
Classic Examples of- Coca. After Oosse. [Full page showing 

seven figures] 247 

Feather Cap and Flint Knife from Ancient Peruvian Mummy. 

[American Museum of National History] 248 

Typical Coca of the Incas. From an Ancient Mummy Pack. 

[Full page half-tone from a photograph] 250 

Type of Modern Coca, from Caravaya, Peru. [Full page half- 
tone from a photograph] 251 

Types of Coca According to Dr. Burck, of Buitenzorg, Java 252 

Structure of the Coca Leaf in Detail. [Full page, showing eight 

figures. Drawn from nature] 256 

Structure of the Coca Flower in Detail. [Full page, showing 

eleven figures. Drawn from nature] 259 

Details of the Coca Fruit and Seed. [Full page, showing nine 
figures. Drawn from nature] 261 



Tail-piece: Peruvian vase and Coca. Atalaya 264 

Head-piece: Chapter IX, Descent of the Eastern Andes. After 

Gibbon 265 

Initial "O," A Modern Peruvian Cocal. From a photograph 265 

Incan Terraces at Cuyo-Cuyo, Peru. From a photograph 267 

Coca Packed for Shipping 270 

Woven Package of Coca. Stiibel, Reiss and Koppel 272 

Shrub of Peruvian Coca. Drawn from nature 275 

United States Gunboat Wilmington Ascending the Amazon, 

March, 1899 279 

Mummied Head. Tiveddle Collection 281 

Peruvian Balsa, Lake Titicaca. From a photograph 283 

Man's Prehistoric State. After Brettes 287 

Tail-piece: Coca Spray. Morin 289 

Head-piece: Chapter X, A Typical Cocal of the Montana 290 

Initial "O," Coca Spray 290 

Hermann Boerhaave; Portrait 292 

A Colombian Indian with his Poporo. After Brettes 294 

Albert Niemann; Portrait. From Bibliothcque Nationale, Paris. 296 

Selling Coca at Azangaro, Peru. From a photograph 301 

Road from the Coca Region of Phara, Peru. From a photograph 308 

Modern Indian Runner of the Andes 316 

Tail-piece: Descent to the Coca Region. From a photograph. . . 319 

Head-piece: Chapter XI, Coca Leaves and Incan Border 320 

Initial "J," Coca Spray. After St. Andre 320 

Conservatories, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park 322 

Specimens of Coca Sent by Jussieu. [Full page illustration, 

after Gosse] 327 

Town of Sandia, Peru; Near the Coca Region. From a photo- 
graph 332 

Peruvian Portrait Vases. Tweddle Collection 339 

Type of Bolivian Coca. Drawn from nature 343 

Tail-piece: The Clouded Andes. Atalaya 345 

Head-piece: Chapter XII, Coca Spray and Inca Earring. At- 
alaya 346 

Initial "T," Discus Thrower. Illustrating Muscle 346 

Incan Chuspas, or Coca Pouches. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full page 

half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 348 

Andean Miners on Church Steps at Phara, Peru. From a photo- 
graph 351 

In the Montana of Peru; the Puli-Puli River. From a photo- 
graph 356 

Camp of United States Explorers between Phara and Aporoma, 

Peru 363 

Plaza and Church at Azangaro, Peru; altitude 15,000 feet. From 

a photograph 367 

Tail-piece: Indian and Coca Spray. Marodon 372 

Head-piece: Chapter XIII, An Andean Tambo. After Gibbon ... 373 

Initial "W," Spanish Cavalier. After Atalaya 373 

Cyclopean Wall, Fortress of Sacsahuaman, Cuzco, Peru. After 

Gibbon. . . 377 



Indians Washing Gold from an Andean Stream. From a photo- 
graph ._ 382 

Andean Tambo at Altitude of IS.StJO feet. From a photograph. . . 389 
Peruvian False Head Mummy Packs. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full 

page half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 394 

Tail-piece: Spray of Coca Seeds. After Atalaya 399 

Head-piece: Chapter XIV, Peruvian Animal Vases. Tweddle 

Collection 400 

Initial "I," Coca Spray on Incan Plaque 400 

Claudius Galenus; Portrait 403 

William Harvey; Portrait 404 

Albert Haller; Portrait 405 

William Cullen; Portrait 407 

Glacier on Mount Ananea; Cordillera of Aricoma, Peru; altitude 

17,000 feet. [Full page half-tone from a photograph] 411 

Incan Spinning Spindles and Work Basket. Reiss and Stiibel. 

[Full page half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 416 

In the Heart of the Eastern Montana; Near the Coca Region. 

[Full page half-tone, from a photograph] 421 

The Modern City of Cuzco, Peru 425 

Coca Maiden. From a drawing by Constant Mayer 430 

Tail-piece : Coca Spray 435 

Head-piece: Chapter XV, Coca Leaves and Incan Pandean Pipes. 

[With scale of the stone pipe at the Museum at Berlin] 436 

Initial "S," Peruvian Stringed Instrument. Metropolitan Mu- 
seum of Art 436 

Peruvian Clay Trumpet. Metropolitan Museum of Art 438 

An Incan Haravi or Love Song. Rivero and Tschudi 440 

Range of Human Voice. [Scale showing various voices] 449 

Lake Aricoma; altitude 14,800 feet; above Titicaca, Peru. [Full 

page half-tone, from a photograph] 455 

Tail-piece : Peruvian Pandean Pipes 462 

Head-piece: Chapter XVI, Clay Eaters of the Amazon. After 

Gibbon 463 

Initial "D," Andean Popfiro and Chuspa. From a photograph. . . 463 
Opening Incan Graves; Coast of Ancon Peru. Reiss and Stiibel. 

[Full page half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 468 

Peruvian Vases. Tweddle Collection 472 

Tapiti for Making Farinah [Peruvian Bread] 478 

Finely Woven Incan Grave Tablets. Reiss and Stiibel. [Full 

page half-tone, from a lithograph in colors] 483 

Tail-piece: Coca Spray and Peruvian Vases. Atalaya 488 


"He that has once the "Flower of the Sun," 
The perfect Ruby which we call elixir, 

by its virtue 

Can confer honour, love, respect, long life, 
Give safety, valour, yea and victory, 
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days 
He'll make an old man of fourscore a child." 

Ben Jonson, The Alchemist; ii. [1610]. 

MAN were asked what one 
boon he would prefer of 
all Earth's bounties or 
Heaven's blessings, his 
response must be the 
power of endurance. 
The capability to pa- 
tiently and persistently 
do best that which the 
laws of life or the va- 
garies of association necessitates. Search for this one qual- 
ity has been the impetus to inspire poet and philosopher since 
man's first appreciation of his mortal frailty. A something 


which shall check, within himself at least, the progress of time, 
the ravages of age, and the natural vacillation of conditions or 
environment. Wealth, and power, and greatness, and skill, 
must alike fall into insignificance without this one essential 
attribute to success. The artist in impressionistic work, the 
poet in soulful muse, the musician in celestial chords, the sol- 
dier in the mad rush of battle, the artisan in the cleverness of 
device, the merchant in the intricacies of commercial problems 
even the most prosaic delver in life's plodding journey- 
each hopes to display a virility from which the slightest weak- 
ness is deprecated as humiliating. Work, indeed, is necessary 
to existence. It is the price as the ancients considered 
which the gods set on anything worth having. It is the 
power to do this work to gain happiness for ourselves, which 
is the demand of modern necessity. To be enabled to keep 
active until the human machine may wear out as did the 
"wonderful one-hoss-shay," rather than rusting into a state of 

Human endurance, bounded by natural limitations, is still 
more closely environed by the results of a higher civilization, 
which presents the remarkable anomaly of two opposite con- 
ditions. While increasing, through the refinements of hygi- 
enic resources, the average term of life, it crowds man in the 
struggle for existence, into a condition where he is rendered 
less capable physically for fighting the battles into which he 
is thrust. So, from a natural life of pronounced perfection 
where his trials have been essentially muscular, he is gradually 
evolving into an artificial existence of eminently nervous im- 
pulse. If this be so, then the interest in any means which 
shall tend to establish and maintain a balance of force, should 
not be merely casual, but must be earnest and persistent to any 
who have regard for life's best qualities, and this interest must 
constantly increase with the requirements of time. 

Even though others may point the way, everyone must 
fight his own battles. To each of us the world will appear as 
we may shape it for ourselves a thought poetically ex- 
pressed by the composer Wagner, who said : "The world exists 
only in our heart and conception." This shaping, if done by 


weakly hands or influenced by troubled brain, may not always 
prove symmetrical. A sensitive imagination, sharply atune, 
jars discordantly amidst inharmonious surroundings, which 
will be all the more harshly apparent if made possible through 
a known impotence. 

There is a fund of force communicated by the Creator 


to all things. It is the primal factor not only of man's exist- 
ence, but of his continued being, and the activity which it 
generates is necessary to life, just as a cessation of energy 
means death. This fact has ever been so much a portion of the 
human mind that it requires no philosophic training to 


implant. It is not alone the savage who regards examples 
of vigor and prowess as ennobled emblems of a supreme being, 
while the sick or even the weak are looked upon as possessed 
of some evil spirit to be exorcised by priest or medicine man. 
This belief, whether superstitious or not, is pre-eminent and 
widespread. It is not only manifested by the ignorant, but 
often by the educated as well. The effort to ward off disease 
through wearing some particular substance as a talisman is a 
practice prompted by this feeling, which is not wholly rele- 
gated to bygone days, and the belief in amulets, rings, or the 
influence of certain precious stones is still prevalent every- 

There is supposedly some deeply hidden mystery about 
ISTature in her varied presentations, which if it does not con- 
trol presumably influences the curative art. It is not only 
those who consider that "yarbs should be gathered at a certain 
time of the moon," but the laity quite generally suppose there 
is a specific for every disease if not every condition, which if 
not immediately forthcoming upon inquiry must be revealed 
by more diligent search.* Nor is this belief even though 
vague indulged in merely by ihe unthinking, but every- 
where about us there is a tendency against accepting rigid 
facts, and inevitable truths, particularly when applied to 
one's self. "All men think all men mortal but themselves" is 
surely a well founded adage. The result is a groping after 
that all necessary something, which shall supply this very 
apparent want, a craving for endurance in all we are called 
upon to bear. As Cicero has expressed it : "If not destined 
to be immortal, yet it is a desirable thing for a man to expire 
at his fit time, for, as Nature prescribes a boundary to all 
other things, so does she also to life." The practical side of 
this idea was once advanced to me by an elderly patient who 
said : "I don't want to controvert Nature, but I do want to be 
as comfortable as possible while I am here." 

There has been a numerous order of philosophers not 

* The Druids, who were both priests and physicians, cut the mistletoe with a 
golden knife only when the moon was six days old, and being afterward conse- 
crated, it was considered an antidote to poisons and a preventive of sterility. 
[Pliny; lib. xvi, 44.] 


content with simple well being, who sought for that per- 
petual youth that elixir mice which might give at least 
prolonged existence even if not rejuvenation. These did not 
commence with Faust nor end with Brown-Sequard. Hap- 
pily the search for this substance even though originating in 
a sanguine imagination has often ended in findings that have 
been extremely important. Just as when Juan Ponce de Leon 
sought the Fontaine de Jouvence in the Island of Bimini, 
though he failed to locate the fountain, he did discover a land 


of perpetual youth, if we may so entitle the ever-blooming 
peninsula. Possibly it was because of some such spirit of 
inquiry into the vague depths of the unknown, where was pre- 
sumed there might be some revelation to this knowledge of 
a perpetual vigor, which prompted a desire for exploration. 
Xature has always been ready i<> nnswer such seeking by her 
munificence, which, if not in the direction at first wished, has 
p. 1 least encouraged man to new desires. 



The discovery of the Western Continent, whether due to 
the forethought or ignorance of Columbus, or to the hardihood 
of the Norsemen several centuries before his time, brought 
a multitude of bounties to humanity. 1 Among these none is 
greater than the countless plants which have been gradually 
unfolded to usefulness by the processes of science. Particu- 
larly is this true of the economic and medicinal plants of South 
America, which on the eastern declivity of the Andes and 
towards the valley of the Amazon, spring forth in all the 

luxuriance of the tropical 
jungle, over a vast portion of 
which it is supposed the foot 
of man has never trodden. In 
this locality and among this 
wild profusion, grows a beau- 
tiful shrub, the leaves of 
which in shape somewhat re- 
semble those of the orange 
tree, but in color are of a very 
much paler green, having that 
exquisite translucence of the 
most delicate fern. The prop- 
erties of this plant more near- 
ly approach that ideal source 
of endurance than is known to 
exist in any other one sub- 
stance. Its leaves have been 
used by the natives of the sur- 
rounding country from the 
earliest recollection, as a 
masticatory, as a medicine, 

and as a force sustaining food. Its use is not confined to 
emergency, nor to luxury, but as an essential factor to the 
daily life work of these people. As a potent necessity it has 
been tenderly cared for and carefully cultivated through the 

1 Charles Christian Rafn: Antiquitates Americans, describes the first voyages 
of the Scandinavians to America in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Leif, son 
of Eric the Red, is said to have reached the coast of Helluland now New Found- 
land, which had been previously discovered by Bjame; he also found Markland 
Nova Scotia, as well as the eastern coast between Cape Sable and Cape Cod. 

[Drawn from Nature.] 


struggles, trials and vituperation it has been the occasion of 
during so many hundreds of years, until to-day its cultivation 
forms the chief industry of a large portion of the natives and 
a prominent source of revenue to the governments controlling 
the localities where it is grown. 

During the early age, when this nature's garden was un- 
known to the rest of the world, the Incas, who were then the 
dominant people of this portion of the continent, regarded this 
shrub as "the divine plant," so all important and complete in it- 
self, that it was termed simply lehokd* meaning the tree, be- 
yond which all other designation was unnecessary. This plant, 
which has been described under a variety of names but now 
known as Coca, has appealed alike to the archaeologist, the 
botanist, the historian, and traveller as well as to the physi- 
cian. Its history is united with the antiquity of centuries, 
while its traditions link it with a sacredness of the past, the 
beginning of which is lost in the remoteness of time. So 
intimately entwined is the story of Coca with these early asso- 
ciations with religious rites, with superstitious reverence, 
with false assertions and modern doubts that to unravel it is 
like to the disentanglement of a tropical vine in the primitive 
jungles of its native home. 

Antedating historical record Coca was linked with the 
political doings of that most remarkable people of early 
American civilization who constituted the Incan dynasty. 
Since the conquest of Peru it has continued to form a neces- 
sary factor to the daily life work of the Andean Indians, the 
descendants of this once noble race. So important has it 
been held in the history of its native land that it has very fit- 
tingly been embodied in the escutcheon of Peru, along with 
the vicuna and the horn of plenty, thus typifying endurance 
with the versatile riches which this country affords. 3 

The first knowledge to the outer world concerning Coca 
followed Pizarro's invasion of Peru, though the actual ac- 
counts of its properties were not published until some years 
after the cruel murder of Atahualpa commonly regarded as 

2 Dr. Weddell suggests Coca from the Aymara Jchoka, a tree, i. e., the tree 
par excellence, like yerba the plant of Paraguay. The Incan historian, Garci- 
lasso, spells it Cuca. Markham. s Marcoy; 1869. 


the last Incan monarch. The effort made by the Spanish 
to implant their religion raised the cross and shrine wher- 
ever possible, which necessitated the founding of numerous 
missions, in charge of fathers of the church. These men 
in holy orders were often as tyrannical as those who bore 
arms, yet fortunately there were some in both classes less 
cruel, men of liberal attainments who appreciated the im- 
portance of preserving the traditions and records of this 
new country. To the writings of some of these more kindly 
disposed personages, as well as to the earnest labors of a few 
young nobles who were in the army of invasion, whose spirit 
for a conservative exploration was greater than for destructive 
conquest, we are indebted for the facts which form the foun- 
dation of this early history. Many of these writers had per- 
sonally seen the result of the Incan civilization before its 
decay, and had opportunity to collect the native stories, as 
retold from father to son, through generation after generation, 
oral tradition being the early Peruvian method for continu- 
ing a knowledge of events. Unlike the Mexicans, these peo- 
ple had no picture writings to tell their doings in a series of 
hieroglyphics, nor had they a written language. But the 
story of this once mighty empire is told in its wonderful 
ruins, and through the relics of skilfully moulded pottery, 
and textile fabrics in exquisite designs, which all indicate 
a remarkable civilization. Historical facts were related by 
regularly appointed orators of phenomenal memory, who on 
all state occasions would recount the occurrences of the pre- 
ceding reign, being aided in this recital by a novel fringe- 
like record of colored cords, known as the quipu. By the aid 
of this, as a sort of artificial memory, they told, as a monk 
might tell his beads. The various knots and several colors of 
the contrivance designating certain objects or events. In all 
these relations the Coca leaf was repeatedly and reverently 
alluded to as a most important element of their customs, as 
well as of their numerous feasts and religious rites. 

The Spanish idea of conquest was to establish a complete 
mastery over the Peruvians ; the Indians were to be regarded 
as slaves to be bought, sold, and used as such. In view of 


these facts it is not difficult to understand that as Coca was 
constantly employed among, the natives, its use was early 
questioned and condemned as a possible luxury, for it was not 
considered a matter worthy of inquiry as to any real benefit in 
a substance employed by slaves. So superficial were the ob- 
servations made by some of the early writers that the fact of 
this neglect is most apparent. Thus, Cieza de Leon, a volu- 
minous writer on Incan customs, mentions as a peculiar habit 
of the natives : "they always carry a small leaf of some sort in 
the mouth." Even so experienced an observer as Humboldt, 
in his writings of many years later, did not recognize the true 
quality of Coca, but confounds the sustaining properties of the 
leaf as due to the alkaline ashes the Uipta which is chewed 
with it. He refers to the use of this lime as though it be- 
longed to the custom of the clay eaters of other regions, and 
suggests that any support to be derived from it must neces- 
sarily be purely imaginary. 

It is not surprising that Coca chewing, if superficially 
viewed, should be condemned. The Spanish considered it 
merely an idle, and offensive habit that must be prohibited, 
and at one time it was even seriously suggested that the plants 
should be uprooted and destroyed. But it was soon seen that 
the Indians could not work without Coca, and when forced to 
do so were unequal to the severe tasks imposed on them. 
As, however, the local tribute to the, authorities demanded 
from all able bodied laborers a fixed amount of work, it was 
soon appreciated as a matter of policy that the use of Coca 
must at least be tolerated in order that this work should be 
done. Then the Church, which was from the invasion 
an all-powerful force in this new country, exacting and 
relentless in its demands, saw an imaginative evil in this 
promiscuous Coca chewing. If Coca sustained the Indians, it 
was of course a food, and its use should not be allowed before 
the holy eucharist. Necessity brought forth a deliverer 
from this formidable opponent, and it was represented that 
Coca was not an aliment,, and so its use was reluctantly per- 

But now came still another effort to prohibit it, from 


moral motives. The Indian believed in Coca, he knew that 
it sustained him without other food in his arduous work, 
but it had been conclusively shown that it was not a food, and 
so could not sustain, hence his belief was false, superstitious, 
even a delusion of the devil to warp the poor Indian from the 
way he should go. Greed, however, predominated, as gold 
has ever been a convincing factor, and as the Indian could do 
most work when supplied with Coca, its use was finally allowed 
unrestricted, and to-day a portion of Coca is given to all An- 
dean laborers as part of their necessary supplies. 

So it will be seen that like all scientific advances which 
have been made, since Prometheus incurred the wrath of Jove 
by stealing fire from the gods to put life in mortals, until the 
present time, Coca has not been admitted to acceptance unas- 
sailed. That spirit of antagonism which seems rampant at the 
very suggestion of progress has caused its allies to rehabilitate 
and magnify the early errors and superstitions whenever op- 
portunity might admit, together with those newer accessions 
of false premises engendered through shallowness of investi- 
gation. Every department of science has been subjected to 
similar instances of annoyance, though it would appear that 
medicine is particularly more subject to such influence. At 
first a partisan sentimentality, with an exaggeration which 
provokes condemnation and often results in oblivion, or what 
in calmer judgment may be a true balance of worth. 

It is amusing to now look back at some attacks which were 
hurled against substances that all the world to-day considers 
as necessities. The anaesthetic use of chloroform was at first 
regarded as unholy because it was asserted man is born unto 
pain as he is unto sin, and so should bear his necessary suffer- 
ings in a holy and uncomplaining manner. Every physician 
frequently meets with just such original and plausible oppo- 
sition to suggested remedies to-day. When in 1638 Cinchona 
was introduced into Europe under the name of "Jesuits' pow- 
der " it was vigorously denounced as quackery. So great was 
the' prejudice that sprang up against it, even among those 
eminent physicians whom we now look back upon as the 
fathers of medicine, that when Chiftelius, in 1653, wrote a 


book against "the bark," he was complimented as though he 
had relieved the world of a monster or a pestilence. 4 For 
years it was not countenanced by "the faculty," and the vari- 
ous arguments then advanced concerning its supposed action 
form curious reading. The opposition to vaccination, in 
1770, was something which excited not only the protests of 
physicians and learned societies, but the clergy and laity as 
well. The College of Physicians shook its wise head and re- 
fused to recognize Jenner's discovery. The country doctor 
was considered something of a bore. 5 Innumerable other in- 
stances might be cited to testify to this negative spirit 
prompted by any advance. 

Among food products, the humble potato when introduced 
into Scotland, in 1728, was violently denounced as unholy 
because "not mentioned in the Bible." 8 It was asserted that 
it was forbidden fruit, and as that was the cause of man's first 
fall, to countenance its use would be irreligious. In France, 
so strong was the feeling against the introduction of potatoes 
that Louis XVI and his Court wore the flower of the plant as 
a boutonniere to give the much opposed but desirable po- 
tato at least the prestige of fashion. Tea, coffee and choco- 
late have each been denounced, and from very high sources 
too. "A lover of his country," as he designated himself, in 
1673, proposed to Parliament "the prohibition of brandy, 
rum, coffee, chocolate and tea, and the suppressing of coffee 
houses. These hinder greatly the consumption of barley, 
malt and wheat, the product of our land." Here would seem 
to be an ulterior motive that is almost suggestive of the com- 
mercial spirit often now displayed, which would suppress one 
product that another may be permitted to flourish regardless 
of merit. 

As an argument against the pernicious and growing ten- 
dency to use tea and coffee, after they had been rendered 
palatable through knowing how to use them, a Dr. Duncan, 
of the Faculty of Montpelier, in 1706, wrote: "Coffee and 
tea were at the first used only as medicine while they con- 
tinued unpleasant, but since they were f made delicious with 

* Baker; 1818. Russell; 1861. Bell; 1842. 



sugar, they are become poison." 7 The Spectator of April 
29th, 1712, urges against the dangers of chocolate as follows: 
"I shall also advise my fair readers to be in a particular man- 
ner careful how they meddle with romances, chocolates, nov- 
els, and the like inflamers which I look upon as very danger- 
ous to be made use of during this great carnival." Opinion 
on these beverages is not unanimous to-day even, as harmless 
as they are commonly considered. Alcohol and tobacco of 
course have come in for an unusual share of denunciation, and 
the argument is not yet ended. From these through the en- 
tire range of stimulant-narcotics, each has excited such vig- 
orous protests that the very term stimulant is considered by 
some as opprobrious. How real must be the merit that can 
withstand such storms of abuse, and spring up, perennially 
blooming, through such opposition ! 

Coca is unparalleled in the history of plants, and although 
it has been compared to about every plant that has any stimu- 
lating quality, it is wholly unlike any 
other. In this comparison tobacco, kola, 
tea, mate, guarana, coffee, cacao, hash- 
ish, opium, and even alcohol, has been 
referred to. It has been made to bear 
the burden of whatever evils lurk in any 
or all of these, and has unjustly been 
falsely condemned through such associa- 
tion. That Coca is chewed by the 
South American Indians and tobacco is 
smoked by the North American In- 
dians, that Coca is used in Peru and 
opium or betel is used in the East is a 
fair example of this comparison. It no 
more nearly resembles kola with which 
it is often carelessly confounded, the 
properties of which are chiefly due to 
caffeine than through the allied har- 
mony of its first syllable. While a similarity to various sub- 
stances taken as beverages is possibly suggested through the 

> All About Cocoa; 1896. 



fact that Coca is sometimes drunk in decoction by the Peru- 

The cerebral effects of Coca are entirely different from 
hashish or opium, and its stimulant action in no way compar- 
able to alcohol. I do not mention these substances to decry 
them, but merely to illustrate the careless comparisons which 
have been advanced, through which imperfect conclusions 
must necessarily be drawn. Then again there is an unfor- 
tunate similarity between the pronunciation of the names 
Coca, and cocoa or cacao the chocolate nut, and coco* the 
coconut, which has occasioned a confusion of thought not 
wholly limited to some of the laity. 

The fact remains that though Coca is used by millions of 
people, 8 it is not generally known away from its native coun- 
try. Even many physicians constantly confound it with allied 
plants of dissimilar properties or with substances of like sound- 
ing name. That this is not simply a broad and hasty state- 
ment may be illustrated by the following fact. The writing 
of this work was prompted by the immense divergence of pub- 
lished accounts regarding the efficacy of Coca, in view of 
which an effort was made to learn the result of its use among 
a representative class of practitioners, each of whom it was 
presumed would be well qualified to express an opinion worthy 
of consideration. An autograph letter, together with an ap- 
propriate blank for reply, fully explaining the desirability for 
this data, was prepared, of which ten thousand were sent out. 
These were addressed to professors in the several medical col- 
leges, and to those prominent in local medical societies all 
eminent in practice. Many did not reply, while of the an- 
swers received, fully one half had "never used Coca in any 
form." Of the balance, many are "prejudiced against its 
use," through some preconceived notion as to its inertness, or 
through some vague fear of insidious danger which they were 
not prepared to explain, and even preferred not to inquire 
into, being "satisfied it is a dangerous drug." 

There are others who inadvertently confound Coca with 
some of the confusion al drugs already referred to or with 

* Egyptian KuJcu. 8 Ten millions, Anstie, p. 35, 1865, from Von Bibra. 



cocoa. That this was not merely an apparent fault, through 
some slip of the pen in hasty writing, is shown by direct an- 
swer to the question as to the form of Coca found most, ser- 
viceable, stating so and so's "breakfast coca" is used in place 
of tea or coffee. In some instances the benefits of Coca 
were enlarged upon with an earnestness that was inclined to 
inspire confidence. The physiological action was gone into 
minutely and its therapeutic application extolled, only to con- 
clude with the amazing statement that the fluid extract, the 
wine, or "breakfast coca" were interchangeably used, thus 
displaying a confusion worse confounded which might be 
amusing if not so appalling. 

These confusional assertions display one source of error, 
yet in view of the entwined facts concerning Coca through 

literature and science it must 
emphasize the unfortunate 
neglect of observation, and 
the refusal to recognize ad- 
vancement manifest even in 
this progressive age among 
some whose duties and respon- 
sibilities should have spurred 
to a refinement of discern- 
ment. It is suggestive of the 
anecdote told by Park, who 
when in his Eastern travels 
asked some Arabs what be- 
came of the sun at night, and 
whether it always was the 
same sun, or was renewed 
each day, was staggered with 
the reply "such a question 
is foolish, being entirely be- 
yond the reach of human in- 
vestigation." 9 

Eeplies fully as surprising were received in this inquiry. 
Several have taken the "moral" side of the question quite to 

' Sir John Lubbock. 

[From a Photograph.] 


heart, and expressed a belief that through advocating the 
popularizing of Coca, I was tending to contribute to the in- 
crease of a pernicious and debasing habit which was already 
undermining the morals of the community. Others again 
have tried to show me the error I had fallen into when speak- 
ing of the dietetic uses of Coca. As one gentleman emphati- 
cally expressed it: "This is some terrible mistake, you are 
confounding Coca with Cocoa ! Cocoa is used for food, but 
Coca never." So that even that part of my investigation 
pursued among modern medical men has not been as easily 
carried out as might at first be supposed. There has been the 
same or similar igiuorance and error to sift apart from truth 
as encompassed the early historical associations of the plant. 

This unfortunate confusion is probably to be accounted 
for because Coca was largely used empirically and without 
a proper appreciation of its physiological action before its 
properties were fully known. Writers who have described 
its local use among the Andean Indians have advanced state- 
ments-regarding its sustaining qualities which have not been 
verified by some observers elsewhere located, even though 
these latter may have carried out a careful line of physiologi- 
cal experimentation. The explanation of this has only re- 
cently been determined, but is now known to be due to the 
extreme volatility of the associate principles of Coca. 

Recent, or well cured and properly preserved Coca is 
wholly different from leaves which have become inert through 
improper treatment. Then again as our botanical knowledge 
of this plant has increased, it has indicated that not all leaves 
termed Coca are such. The family to which the classic 
leaves of the Incans belong has many species. Among the 
particular species of Coca there has only quite recently been 
determined several varieties. The properties of these differ 
materially according to the presence or absence of certain al- 
kaloidal constituents. Some of the early experiments upon the 
properties of Coca were made at a time when these facts were 
unknown, and with this, was the added disadvantage of the 
impossibility of then obtaining appropriately preserved Coca 
in the open markets. Not only may the substance examined 


have been inert, but through different observers using differ- 
ent varieties of Coca the conclusions could not possibly agree. 
Unfortunately because of the apparent carefulness of research 
these early statements were accepted and given a wide publi- 
city, and so from the marvelous apparent benefits of Coca 
among native users to the absolute inertness pronounced by 
some foreign observers, there has been a very wide space for 
the admission of much distrust. The busy physician must 
commonly accept the result of the provings of the experimen- 
talist, and amidst so much doubt it may have seemed easier to 
set aside a possible remedy than to have personally verified 
the assertions. Indeed, trial has only too often depreciated 
hopes from a happy realization of the wonderful properties 
attributed to the use of native Coca on the Andes, to a realiza- 
tion of the uncertainty of the marketed product at command. 
In which connection it may not seem too astonishing to say I 
know of an instance where senna leaves were sold by a whole- 
sale drug house for "fresh Coca leaves," while I doubt if any 
drug house would make a distinction in offering the casual 
purchaser any variety of Coca at hand. 

It was because of "this uncertainty" of the conflicting 
stories and the impossibility to unify facts that interest in 
Coca, which had been stimulated in Europe by Dr. Mante- 
gazza about 1859, soon declined until disuse almost left it in 
forgetfulness. About this time Niemann, then a pupil of 
Professor Woehler, isolated the alkaloid cocaine from the 
leaves, and attention was again awakened to the possible use- 
fulness of the parent plant. It was supposed, however, that 
the active principle to which all the sustaining energy of Coca 
was due had been discovered in cocaine. Here again was a 
radical error, and an unfortunate one as it has since proved, to 
still more confound an intricate problem. This is particularly 
serious because it is widely accepted as truth, not only among 
many physicians, but also because it has been spread by this 
misunderstanding through the secular press, and so falsely 
impressed the laity. As a result, cocaine has been promiscu- 
ously used as a restorative and sustainer under the supposition 
that it is but Coca in a more convenient and active form. The 


evils which have followed this use have fallen upon Coca, 
which has often been erroneously condemned as the cause. It 
is owing to the wide spread of this belief as well as its resultant 
evil and because of the difficulty for the lay mind to appreciate 
the radical difference between Coca and cocaine between any 
parent plant and but one of its alkaloids that it must neces- 
sarily require long and persistent effort on the part of edu- 
cated physicians to explain away this wrong, to reassure those 
who have been falsely informed as to the real merits of Coca, 
and so reflect credit upon themselves through the advocacy and 
use of a really marvelous remedy. 

The truth cannot be too forcibly impressed, that cocaine 
is but one constituent, and no more fully represents Coca than 
would prussic acid because found in a minute quantity in 
the seeds of the peach represent that luscious fruit. In em- 
phasizing this a recent investigator who passed a long period 
in the Coca region, studying as a scientist the peculiarities of 
the plant, and watching as a physician its effect upon native 
users of the drug, says : "With certain restrictions it may be 
said that .the properties of cocaine, remarkable as they are, lie 
in an altogether different direction from those of Coca as it 
has been reported to us from South America." 1 So it will be 
seen that because of misconstruing early tales and supersti- 
tious beliefs, because inert leaves have not yielded results of 
the sound plant, because some different variety has not yielded 
the same results as the classic type, because one of its alka- 
loids does not represent the whole, the parent plant is con- 
demned. Because of this ignorance of certain investigators 
the historical accounts of the use of Coca and its sustaining 
qualities among the natives, have been set down to exaggera- 
tion or absolute fabrication. As one physician replying to 
my inquiries would have others believe: "The Indians are 
great liars." Thus from ignorance, neglect or from false con- 
ception, Coca was either wholly ignored or little understood 
in a popular way, until in 1884 a renewed interest was awak- 
ened through the discovery of the qualities of cocaine as an 
anesthetic in the surgery of the eye. Then, as though forget- 

10 Rusby; 1888. 



ful of all preceding investigation or condemnation, a renewed 
discussion commenced regarding the asserted qualities of 
Coca, the failure to realize them, and the probable source of 
potency of the plant as represented by cocaine. 

This was followed by frequently reported accounts of a 
new and terrible vice which was springing up everywhere 
the so-called "cocaine habit." For this Coca was condemned, 


as its enemies pretended to now see the real element of per- 
niciousness. Yet before cocaine was ever dreamed of and 
during the long centuries in the history of Coca, not one case 
of poisoning from its use has ever been recorded. The ac- 
cusation of "habit" had, however, long before been errone- 
ously directed against the leaves. But of this, one who wrote 
scientifically and extensively on Peru after personal observa- 
tion, sets forth his conclusions in the following positive 
way: "Coca is not merely innocuous, but even very con- 


ducive to health." 11 He even calculated the improbability of 
harm by estimating, if an Indian reached the age of one hun- 
dred and thirty years which seems to be the only "habit" to 
which these people are addicted beside the "habit" for hard 
work he would have consumed two thousand seven hundred 
pounds of leaves, an amount sufficient to have quite fully de- 
termined all pernicious possibilities. Indeed, to think of 
Coca as an injurious substance suggests the character in one 
of Madison Morton's farces who wished to "shuffle off" speed- 
ily, and determined to chew poppy heads "because poppy 
heads contain poppy seeds, and poppy seeds eaten constantly 
for several years will produce instant death." 

The theory has been advanced that because cocaine is one 
of the chief alkaloids of Coca, it represents whatever sustain- 
ing quality the leaf can possibly have, and manufacturers 
base their choice of leaves upon the percentage of cocaine de- 
termined by assay. But this is not in unanimity with the 
selection of the native users of Coca, any more than would the 
quality of a choice tobacco leaf be governed by the amount of 
nicotine it contains. The fact is the Andean Indian selects 
Coca that is rich in the more volatile associate alkaloids and 
low in cocaine. It is what is known as the sweet in contra- 
distinction to the bitter-leaf, which latter is made bitter by 
the large amount of cocaine it contains. On this very point 
an authority says: "It only remains for me to point out 
that the relative amount of cocaine contained in native Coca 
leaves exerts no influence in determining the Indian's selection 
of his supply. As a matter of fact, the ordinary conditions to 
which the leaves are subject during the first two or three 
months after they are gathered have but little effect upon their 
original percentage of cocaine. The Indian, however, makes 
his selections from among such leaves with the greatest care, 
eagerly seeking the properly dried leaves from some favorite 
cocal, whose produce is always most readily brought out, and 
absolutely rejecting other leaves, notwithstanding that the 
percentages of cocaine may be almost identical." 12 

The absolute reliance of the Andean Indians upon Coca 

Von Tschudi ; 1840. 12 Rusby; 1888. 


not only for sustenance, but as a general panacea for all ills, 
has naturally led them to feel a superstitious regard for the 
plant. This reverence has descended to them from the Incan 
period, during which the shrub was looked upon as "a living 
manifestation of divinity, and the places of its growth a sanc- 
tuary where all mortals should bend the knee." 1 However 
much the Incas reverenced Coca they did not worship it ; it 
was considered the greatest of all natural productions, and as 
such was offered in their sacrifices. Their ceremonial offer- 
ings were made to their conception of deity the sun, which 
they held to be the giver of all earthly blessings. 

The ideas of moral depravity, and the fears of debasing 
habit following the use of Coca, have sprung from false prem- 
ises and early misconceptions as to the true nature of the plant. 
As a matter of fact, neither "habit," as that is understood, nor 
poisoning has ever been recorded against Coca among the 
natives where it has been continued in use for centuries. 
Those early writers on Andean customs who allude to Coca 
chewing all speak positively against any evil result following 
its use. One physician, after being intimately associated 
among the natives for nearly a year, where he had witnessed 
the constant use of Coca, failed to find a single case of chronic 
cocaism, although this one subject chiefly occupied his atten- 
tion, and lie searched assiduously for information. Speak- 
ing of the amount used, he says : "what it does for the Indian 
at fifteen it does for him at sixty, and a greatly increasing 
dose is not resorted to. There is no reaction, nor have I seen 
any of the evil effects depicted by some writers and generally 
recorded in books." 1 

The early objections by the Spanish against the use of 
Coca were rather as persecutions, intended to still further op- 
press this conquered race by taking from them what was 
looked upon as an idle and expensive luxury. But Coca-chew- 
ing could never be an expensive luxury in a country where it 
grow r s wild, and where it is given by those in charge of laborers 
as a regular portion of each man's daily supplies. The later 
cries against its perniciousness, as has been shown, were based 

13 Unanue; 1794. "Rusby: 1888. 


wholly upon the action of cocaine following the widespread 
use of that alkaloid as a local anaesthetic. The reports in the 
medical press of injurious e fleets from the use of cocaine 
all date from the period when the entire medical world was 
active in the discussion of the merits of this great boon to 
minor surgery. It would seem that many then rushed into 
print without regard to method so long as something was said 
about the all-absorbing topic of the time, which might direct 
a portion of attention to themselves. A new opportunity had 
arisen when old tales and early prejudices might be again 
reiterated concerning Coca. The lay press was not slow to 
take up the sensational side of the subject, and the "cocaine 
habit" soon became a well-determined condition in theory, and 
a fashionable complaint. I have personally investigated a 
number of such reported cases and in every instance have 
found either that it was a condition engrafted upon some pre- 
vious "habit" in a nervous subject, or else that the report 
was absolutely false. There is no motive as the lawyers 
would say for the offense, there is no reason for the estab- 
lishment of a habit such as exists in the case of alcohol or 
opium. The fact is there exists a certain class of subjects 
who are so weak in will power, that if they should repeat any 
one thing for a few consecutive times they would become hab- 
ituated to that practice. But such cases are the exceptions, 
and have no especial bearing upon Coca. In the collective in- 
vestigation among several thousand physicians,* this matter 
was particularly impressed as an important point of inquiry 
and the answers sustained the facts already explained, that a 
Coca habit has never existed. During the early part of 1898 
a case was reported very sensationally in the secular press re- 
garding a Dr. Holmes who had died in an asylum at Arden- 
dale, N. Y., a hopeless wreck as a result of cocaine habit. I 
communicated with the physician in charge of that institution 
and was promptly assured "Dr. Holmes did not die as a result 
of 'cocaine habit,' nor had he ever been addicted to it." 

That Coca has survived the attacks which have been 
periodically hurled against it during several hundred years, 

* See detailed report of physicians in Appendix. 


and that its use is not only continued, but its therapeutic appli- 
cation constantly increasing, must suggest to the thinking mind 
that it is possessed of remarkable value. It has continued with 
the Andeans not because they have formed a "habit" for it, not 
because it fills their minds with that ecstatic and dreamful 
bliss as habit drugs would do, but because experience has 
taught them that they can perform their work better by its 
use. There is -a practical utility in it which, as will be seen 
when detailing some of the customs of these people, is so exact 
that they measure their distances by the amount of Coca that 
they chew instead of by the rod and chain, or chronometer. 
Their use of this plant is continued day after day during a 
long lifetime, yet the amount of Coca which sustains them in 
young adult life is not increased in their old age. Its force 
product is a constant factor, just as a given amount of water 
under proper conditions will make a known amount of steam. 
The fuel taken and the work performed is always the same, 
other conditions being equal. 

Can it be presumed for a moment that if this general and 
persistent use of Coca is a depraved habit, sapping the best of 
moral qualities, even manhood, unfitting its users to perform 
their duties, that these people would be capable of the im- 
mense amount of physical work which they do ? It is known 
to be a fact by those employing large forces of workmen in the 
Peruvian mines, that the Indian would not and could not 
perform the tasks he is set to under the exposure he is sub- 
jected to without Coca. This is well shown by contrast when 
foreigners are compelled to work with them, and are unable to 
perform an equal amount of labor to theirs until they too have 
recourse to the use of Coca. Thus it must be seen that Coca 
is as worthy to-day as it was in the time of the Incas of being 
.termed the "divine plant." It is ISTature's best gift to man. 
It neither morally corrupts nor undermines manhood, or vi- 
tality, as is well shown in these Indians, who are long-lived 
and are held by those who know them best, to be conservative, 
respectful, virtuous, honest and trustworthy, addicted to hard 
work and the use of Coca, that they may more thoroughly 
and successfully do that work. 


That any plant or substance which has been continued in 
daily use by millions of people over a vast territory, for many 
hundreds of years, should have so long remained unrecognized 
by the world at large seems almost incredible. Yet the fact is 
undoubted, as has been shown, and Coca is even to-day un- 
known to a great majority of not only the masses, but of physi- 
cians. Since the date of the Conquest, the constant use of 
Coca leaves by the Indians has been frequently referred to by 
travellers, often superficially, yet commonly agreeing as to 
its sustaining qualities. But so wonderful have these accounts 
seemed that their simple relation has usually excited doubt 
rather than belief. They have been looked upon as "travellers' 
tales," relations due to an imagination, which possibly had 
been expanded by the conjoined influence of a rarefied at- 
mosphere, and an exalted desire to enhance the wonders of 
travel. So from doubting qualities which were long looked 
upon as improbable or unexplainable, and from the inaccu- 
racies recorded by those who affected scientific research on old 
leaves, it was but a simple step to relegate the very existence 
of the plant to the legendary. 

It has been shown in outline how varied were the causes 
to account for this unbelief, and the consequent neglect which 
followed. Primarily to superficial observation on the part of 
early explorers in an unknown country, where consideration 
for mere existence was to the unacclimated often of the first 
importance. Added to this was the conservative reticence of 
the Indians, and their superstitious regard for this plant so 
intimately linked with their religious and political life. This 
alone was sufficient to prevent the ready acquirement by trav- 
ellers of a detailed knowledge of the use of Coca, or even of 
native customs and the reason for them. 

Here was sufficient possibility for hasty conclusions, aside 
from the forceful attacks of both Church and State against 
what they were pleased to regard as the continuance of a super- 
stitious practice or vulgar habit, which possibly linked the 
desires of these people whom they hoped to Christianize, with 
an idolatrous past. Then, too, there existed as now, a class of 
zealots seeing imaginative wrong in every custom, who would 


have every act discontinued simply because it is done, in dread 
of some direful consequence which may result. In furthering 
each of these negative influences, theories were often advanced 
at variance with existent facts, and so many conflicting tales 
and much confusion has resulted. Absurd stories have been 
published, and these again copied without apparent attempt 
at verification, the whole establishing a falsity from which 
there has grown a diversity of opinion wholly inconsistent with 
the exact requirements of science. Meanwhile the rapid 
progress of the world in exploration often engrossed attention 
to the exclusion of details. The demand of commercial inter- 
ests, for broad facts and immediate results in the amassing of 
wealth, diverted attention from the tales of travellers or the 
disputes of scientists. But as a higher civilization demands 
the resources of the universe to maintain its conditions, the 
secret of Nature's gift to the Andean could not remain long 
hidden, and the means which afforded support for these sim- 
ple people was recognized as of possible benefit to the rest of 
the plodding, toiling world. As Coca was shown to be a neces- 
sity to the Andean in his toilsome travels of exposure, its 
adaptability was suggested to other members of the human 
family elsewhere located who are comparatively as subject to 
privation and hardship as are these primitive people. Even 
in our great cities among modern resources the labor is exact- 
ing and exhaustive, and whether the work done be a strain of 
muscular exertion or a prolonged mental effort, the resultant 
wear and tear is similar, and the conditions are to be met by 
recourse to the most expedient means available. 

Unfortunately the Spanish invasion of Peru so largely 
destroyed all native records that it has been difficult to readily 
retrace a continued history of the remarkable people of this 
early civilization, among whom our story of Coca must begin. 
But from the period of the Conquest, after it had been made 
known to the outer world Coca was frequently sung in poetry 
or recounted in the tales of travellers. It however continued, 
since the privilege was extended from its early users to their 
descendants, to almost exclusively be enjoyed by these people 
until less than half a century ago. 



In properly determining the benefits of Coca it seems de- 
sirable to trace back its historical connections and its asso- 
ciations between past uses and present necessities, as well as to 
inquire into those surroundings which have prompted its use 
and called for its continuance. This must necessarily lead us 
through many interesting fields where the view may seem 
remote from our narrative, yet is essential to the full under- 
standing of a story the first impulse for which was generated 
in the horrors of the Conquest. Before entering on this more 


prosaic story, I wish to recall a writing: of long ago that is 
fittingly associated with our History of Coca. 

Dr. Abraham Cowley, of whom Dr. Johnson said : "Tn 
Cowley's mind botany turns into poetry" in 1662 wove the 
qualities of Coca through a legendary tale so accurately and 
charmingly that these have scarcely been added to by the re- 
search of other scientists. 

At a convention of the gods, which was presided over by 
Venus, to discuss various fruits, the merits of each was set 
forth by its god. The poem is taken up where Bacchus, in 
illustration of the virtues of the vine, has offered a cup of 
wine to a South American godling : 



He, nnaccnftomed to the acid juice, 
Storm'd, and with Blows had answer'd the Abase. 
But fear'd t'engage the European Gueft. 
Whofe Strength and Courage had subdu'd the Eaft ; 
He therefore choofcs a less dangerous Fray. 
And summons all his Country's Plants away ; 
Forthwith in decent order they appear. 
And various Fruits on various Branches wear. 
Like Amazons they stand in painted Arms, 
Coca alone appear'd with little Charms, 
Yet led the Van, our scoffing Venus Scorn'd 
The shrub-like tree, and with no Fruit adorn'd, 
. [jjy The Indian Plants, said she, arc like to speed 
.-//Sir In this dispute of the most fertile Brce.d, 

Who choose a Dwarf and Eunuch for their head ; 

Our Gods laughed out aloud at what she said. 

Pachamama defends her darling Tree, 

And said the wanton Goddess was too free ; 

You only know the fruitfulness of Luft. 

And therefore here your judgment is unjuft. 

Your skill in other offsprings we may truft. 

With thofe Chafte tribes that no diitinction know 

Of Sex, your Province nothing has to do. 

Of all the Plants that any Soil does bear. 

This Tree in Fruits the richeft does appear. 

It bears the beft, and bears them all the Year. 

Ev'n now with Fruits 'tis stor'd why laugh you yet ? 

Behold how thick with Leaves it is bcfct ; 

Each Leaf is Fruit, and such subftantial Fare. 

No Fruit beside to rival it will dare. 

Mov'd with his Country's coming Fate (whole Soil 

Muft for her Trcafurers be cxpofed to spoil) 

Our Varicocha firft this Coca sent, 

Endow'd with leaves of wond'rons Nourishment, 

Whose juice Succ'd in, and to the Stomach tak'n 

Long Hunger and long Labour can suftain ; 

From which our faint and weary Bodies find 

More Succor, more they cheer the drooping Mind, 

Than can your Bacchus and your Ceres join'd. 

Three Leaves supply for six days' march afford ; 

The Quitoita with this Provision stor'd 

Can pass the vaft and cloudy Andes o'er, 

The dreadful Andes plac'd 'twixt Winter's Store 

Of Winds, Rains, Snow, and that more humble Earth, 

That gives the small, but valiant, Coca birth ; 

This Champion that makes war-like Venus Mirth. 


Nor Coca only useful art at Home, 

A famous Merchandize them art become ; 

A thousand Paci and Vicugni groan 

Yearly beneath thy Loads, and for thy sake alone 

The spacious World's to us by Commerce Known. 

Thus spake the Goddess (on her painted Skin 

Were figures wrought) and next called Hovia in, 

That for it's stony Fruit may be dcspis'd, 

But for its Virtue next to Coca priz'd. 

Her shade by wond'rous Influence can compofc 

And lock the Senfcs in such sweet Repose 

That oft the Natives of a diftant Soil 

Long journeys take of voluntary Toil, 

Only to sleep beneath her branches' shade ; 

Where in tranfporting Dreams entranc'd they lye 

And quite forget the Spaniards' Tyranny. 

Book of PUnts. 






i^^- J 





"Our Varicocha first this Coca sent, 
Endow'd with Leaves of wond'rous Nourishment." 


!N" tracing the history of Coca from 
its earliest associations, we are 
led into that wonderland of its 
nativity where its discovery and 
even first application is lost 
amidst the traditions which sur- 
round the empire overthrown by 
Pizarro. The dominant people of 
Peru at the time of the Conquest com- 
prised a race highly advanced in civil- 
ization known as Incas, a mighty em- 
pire developed from a foundation laid 
by the semi-legendary Manco Ccapac 1 
and his sister-wife, Mama Ocllo. 

We are accustomed to consider the 
aboriginal peoples of xlmerica as In- 
dians, of which an accepted type is the noble red man pic- 
tured by Cooper in his classic stories of the nomadic savages 

1 The double c in Quichua is pronounced like k. 



who inhabited North America ; but the early Peruvians it is 
presumed were in no way allied to the red men of the North." 
They were not only a race distinct in characteristics and cus- 
toms, but they possessed the marked difference of a highly 
wrought social organization, so that we must view these early 
people, who are spoken of as the Incas of Peru, as a mighty 
monarchy quite as important if of a less degree as was 
that of the ancient Egyptians or Romans. But \vho these 
people were before they settled in Peru, where they came from 
and how they got there, or whether as has been suggested 
Peru was the cradle of the human race from which was 
peopled other continents, is an enigma, the solution of which 
is locked in the impenetrable mystery of the past. Anti- 
quarians, ethnologists and archasologists have delved in vain 
toward unearthing this hidden past, for these people had no 
written language and all that has been evolved is the mute but 
expressive records of their works, their arts of pottery, textile 
fabrics, their monuments, their poetry and their traditions, 
through which are displayed their customs, which often speak 
far more concisely and forcibly than do the hieroglyphic carv- 
ings of other lands. 

An attempt has been made to trace the people who estab- 
lished this early empire from various nations of the Old 
World. Montesinos, 1 an ancient Spanish chronicler, declares 
that they came from Armenia about five hundred years after 
the deluge, while other theorists connect them with the Egyp- 
tians, with the early Hebrews, and with the Chinese. It was 
advanced in support of this latter theory that Manco Ccapac 
was the son of Kublai-Khan, the first Chinese Emperor of the 
Yuen dynasty. Others again have supposed that the Incas 
may have come from what is presumed to have been an earlier 
civilization in Mexico and Yucatan, which with Peru had 
certain resemblances to the Eastern nations. Many of the 
Incan customs were similar to those of the Aztecs, and to the 

2 It has been asserted that the cranial and other physiological evidences indi- 
cate that the type of red man of the New World from the Arctic Circle to the 
Straits of Magellan is so slightly varied that all Indians may be said to constitute 
one race. Nadaillac: Itidir/rnoiift Races of Uie Earth. 

8 A Dominican missionary who visited Peru one hundred years after the Con- 
qupst, and travelled for fifteen years through the viceroyalty. He gives a line of 
one hundred and one sovereigns prior to the Conquest. 



Mayas, though the architecture is distinct the first tending 
to temples, the latter to towered pyramids, while the arch is 
very rarely found among the ruins of either ; yet some of the 
Peruvian vaulted remains indicate that the idea of the arch 
was known to the Incas in principle. 

So stupendous is the Peruvian scenery, so wonderful the 
ruins that it is not surprising the found- 
ers of this mighty country should have 
been considered of mythical origin. Pur- 
chas, in his Pilgrims, relates of an early 
race of giants inhabiting the Peruvian 
coast, who \vere responsible for some of 
the megalithic remains still extant. These 
giants were addicted to sodomy, and as 
the Indians thought, were in consequence 
destroyed by fire from heaven. Others 
again would have the country originate 
from a lot of pigmies who w r ere not over 
two cubits high, and there are not only 
traditions but vestiges which indicate 
that a race of small people really did in- 
habit parts of both Central America and 
South America. There were several tra- 
ditions among the Incan people as to 
their origin, one of which referred to a 
flood and the repeopling of the world by 
a family of brothers who mysteriously 
appeared from a cave. 

Gregorio Garcia, a Span- 
. ish Dominican author, 

t \ 


GROUP OP PERUVIAN VASES. [Tweddle Collection.] 


alludes to a tradition, 4 according to which the Peruvians pro- 
ceeded from the nine and a half tribes of Israel, whom Shal- 
maneser, King of Assyria, carried away captive. Humboldt 
has traced the origin of the Toltecs to the Huns, while Para- 
vey, in 1844, attempted to prove that Fu-Sang, described in 
the Chinese annals, is the Mexican Empire which w r as known 
to the Chinese in the fifth century, and showed that at Uxmal 
in Yucatan, there had been found sculptured the Buddha of 
Java seated under the head of a Siva. Rivero considers that 
there is no doubt but Quetzalcoatl, Bochica, and Manco 
Ccapac were Buddhist priests, and that the Peruvian gods 
Con, Pachacamac and Uiracocha corresponded to Bramah, 
Vishnu and Siva. There seems certainly an intimate connec- 
tion shown between the Hindu De cadasa servants of the gods 
and the Incan Virgins of the Sun. 

In Quichua the language of the Incas, there are many 
words resembling Sanscrit, as Inti the sun, while Indra is 
the Hindu god of the heavens. Raymi was the great Incan 
festival in honor of the sun, and Rama was a child of the sun 
in India. Sita was the wife of Rama in Hindu mythology, 
and Situ was one of the Incan sun festivals. It would seem 
as though the connection is too similar to be merely accidental. 
There were many customs and rites followed by the Incas 
similar to those of the early Jews. The Incas offered their 
first fruits, celebrated the new moon, and divided their year 
into four seasons corresponding with the Jewish festivals, 
while their ceremonies of purification and the use of the bath 
and ointments, their method of fasting and manner of prayer 
were all somewhat suggestive 5 of the Jewish forms. Other 
comparisons indicate that the early Peruvians, through their 
architecture, resembled the Egyptians, while their pottery 
in shape and in design is similar to the Assyrian and to the 
Greek. Their features, however, and many of their cus- 
toms are distinctly Mongolian. The consensus of opinion 
now is that these people in some prehistoric time found their 
way to the shores of South America from China and other 

* Garcia; 1729. 

5 Rivero; Memorias Antiguas Historiales del Peru. Anales o Memorias Neuvas 
del Peru. 


parts of Eastern Asia. 6 There are many customs among the 
Tibetans and throughout Chinese Tartary that closely re- 
semble the modern customs of the Andeans. 

Whatever opinions and traditions there may be on the 
early origin of the Peruvians, all coincide on one point, that 
the first appearance of the progenitors of the Incan race was in 
the Titicaca region, 7 and the site of their government was at 
the City of Cuzco. 8 The most often related legend of the 
Incan origin describes a pair of white people Manco Ccapac 9 
and Mama Ocllo as mysteriously appearing on the shore of 
Lake Titicaca, and being possessed of a golden wand which 
was to act as a sort of divining rod to determine the location of 
the seat of the new empire wherever this rod should sink into 
the earth. Travelling north through the Andean garden of 
Eden, it was not until they reache^ the site of Cuzco that this 
golden wedge plunged into the earth and disappeared forever, 
and here was built the palace of the first Inca. Another 
legend describes a god Ataguju the creator of all things, 
having made the first man Guamansuri, who descended to 
the earth and there seduced the sisters of certain rayless ones 
or darklings Guacliemines, who then possessed it. For this 
crime he was destroyed, while the sisters gave birth to two eggs 
from which were hatched the twin brothers, Apocatequil and 
Piguerao. The former was the more powerful, and was vene- 
rated by the Indians as their maker because he released them 
from the soil by turning it up with a golden spade. He it 
was as they supposed, who produced thunder and lightning 
by hurling stones with his sling, while the thunderbolts were 
considered to be his children. One of the principal weapons 
of the Incan warriors was the huaraca or sling, and the shap- 
ing of the hills was often considered in their traditions as due 

8 An interesting discussion and references on this point may be found in the 
Narrative and Critical History of America. 

7 Titi tiger, Caca rock: because of a tiger with a ruby light in its head, 
which legend said guarded the rock in the lake when Manco Ccapac first stepped 
from the sun. 

8 According to Garcilasso, in the language of the Incas, Cuzco means navel, 
hence the heart or centre of the Incan empire, while Montesinos considers Cuzco 
to be derived from the Indian word cosca to level, or from the heaps of earth 
about that city termed coscns. 

B The term "Manco" is a proper name without any significance In etymology. 
"Ccapac" implies rich, and the ruling Inca was known as "Sapallan," sovereign 
lord and king. 
10 Brinton; 1868. 



to the clever hurling of monster stones by some legendary god, 
and so it was that Huanacaure, a brother of Manco Ccapac, 
had split the hills by some mighty throw. These stories are 
not wholly of Incan origin, but have rather become so through 
adoption in the course of centuries, for it was the habit of the 

MANCO CCAPAC AND MAMA OCLLO HUACO. lAfter Rivero and Tschudi.} 

Incas to blend the religion of conquered peoples with that of 
their own, while their traditions were continued and so ulti- 
mately looked upon as Incan. 

Pachacamac, the founder of the world, was the name of an 
early Peruvian deity, otherwise known as Uiracocha, which 


INCAN TAPESTRY OF FINK WOOL. [Reiss and Stubel, 1880.] 


latter has been corrupted to Viracocha, 11 a term of varied 
meaning at present applied by the Indians of some provinces 
to all white men, while the first title it is known was adopted 
after the conquering of the early people about the site of the 
present city of Lima, where the worship of Con and Pacha- 
cama prevailed. 12 One local legend represented these two as 
father and son, or brothers, children of the sun. They were 
without flesh or blood, impalpable, invisible and remarkably 
swift in flight. Viracocha was the culture hero of the Ay- 
mams or Colla.s, who are also referred to as a portion of the 
Piuras, an early Incan tribe of the Titicaca region. In their 
creed he was not only the creator but possessor of all things ; 
though offerings of lands and herds were given to other gods, 
none were given to him "For," said one of the Incas : "Shall 
the Lord and master of the whole world need these things 
from us ?" He it was presumably who constructed the won- 
drous cities whose ruins are to be found about Titicaca. He 
also made the sun and moon and after placing them in the sky 
peopled the earth. Tradition has associated these legendary 
tales with real beings, of whom Manco Ccapac, the first Inca 
who is supposed to have been a veritable personage has been 
made the hero. However originating, it is agreed that this 
first sovereign founded his government, about the year 1021, 
at Cuzco, where, upon a hill so steep as to be practically unas- 
sailable, was established the first fortress of the Empire. But 
long before the time of this Incan hero this place had been 
the stronghold of some other race, of the origin or nature of 
which there is not even tradition. 

In extending their dominions the Incans made no mere 
savage war, but their purpose was to teach the wild tribes 
about them, to instruct them in their religion and to elevate 
them to their plane. Filled with this noble purpose no depre- 
dations were permitted among the conquered and no waste of 
life or property was tolerated. "For," said one of the Incas, 
"we must spare our enemies or it will be our loss, since they 
and all that belongs to them must soon be ours." One of the 

11 ViracocJia may be translated "Foam of the sea," though Garcilasso less 
poetically says it is "Sea of grease." 

12 Con thundtr, Ppucha source, Cama all, the source of all things. 


first things that was done after acquiring any new territory 
was to send a certain number of the newly conquered people 
into some other section of the country and these were replaced 
by a like number from the Incans, who were known as 
mitimaes. By this intermingling the customs of each were 
acquired by the other, so the transition became the easier. 

In those districts east of the Andes where Coca could be 
cultivated, these new people were taught to raise the plant 
and paid their tributes in Coca to the government. Temples 
for worship were erected and the language of the Incas was 
taught, while the idols of the gods of the savages were car- 
ried to Cuzco and there set up in the Temple of the Sun. The 
chiefs of the conquered tribes were received in accordance with 
their rank and created Incan nobles, with rights little less 
than those of royal birth. So each new addition to the Em- 
pire was united with respect for the higher order of things be- 
cause of this tribal interest in the seat of government, which 
was now looked upon as mutual. How far different from all 
this was the treatment of these noble people by those who 
claimed a higher civilization ! 

It is very probable that the Incan customs and many of 
their religious rites were fashioned upon the traditions of the 
people who preceded them as well as added to from time to 
time by the acquisition of newly conquered tribes. This has 
occasioned much historical confusion, but the fact is shown by 
the continuance of many Incan ceremonies which the Spanish 
found it impossible to wholly eradicate, and so cleverly united 
with their own. So that to-day, in the religious performances 
among the Peruvian Indians, there is frequently displayed 
a curious commingling of ancient ceremonies, with repre- 
sentations of native gods combined with the sacred images and 
observances of the Catholic church, which is the state religion 
of Peru. 

As the Inca was the ruler of the four quarters of 'the earth, 
so the kingdom was divided into four parts, termed Ttaliuan- 
iin-suyu or the four provinces. These were Anti-suyu 
east, Cunti-suyu west, Chincha-suyu north, and Colla- 
suyu south, the people of each of these localities being dis- 


tinguished by a peculiar dress, and when they were as- 
sembled in the capital city they took up thtir stations nearest 
to that part of the country to which they belonged. All the 
people were divided into ayllus or tribes, the unit of which 
was ten the Chunca, similar to the division of government in 
ancient Rome. Ten families being under the command of a 
Chunca camayoc. The working members of each clan were 
assigned to definite occupations; the boys from sixteen to 
twenty were set apart for light work and were known as Cuca- 
pallac or Coca pickers. Above these w.ere the Yma-huayna or 
sturdy youths, from twenty to twenty-five. Then the Puric, 
who were able-bodied men and heads of families, capable of 
the most trying work, finally the Chanpi-ruccu or elderly men, 
who were unfitted for labor. Ten Chuncas formed a Pachaca, 
ten 'of which were classed as a Huaranca, again formed into 
ten, making a Ilunu of 10,000 men, each division being under 
an appropriate officer. The army was formed by groups of 
ten after a similar manner to that in which the people were 
divided into clans. Thus there were ten men, ten companies, 
and so on, extending up to a corps of five thousand, under the 
chief captain or Hatun-apu, 12 while under him was the Hatun- 
apup-rantin, and half of this number obeyed an Apu or cap- 
tain with his Apup-rantins or lieutenants, while the whole 
army was commanded by an Apusquipay. 

The Inca was always considered divine and as a direct 
descendant from the sun was regarded immeasurably be- 
yond and superior to any others of the race. He was the 
source from which everything emanated, not only framing 
the laws, but enforcing their fulfillment. In all the ceremo- 
nies in which the sovereign participated he was surrounded 
with an imposing pomp, and his palaces were examples of rare 
magnificence. His court at all times numbered many thou- 
sand persons, including nobles of direct descent, the curacas 
or nobility of the conquered tribes, officers of the household, 
governors, astrologers, amautas or philosophers, poets and 

The dress of the monarch was unique; he wore a tunic- 

13 Eatun great, apu captain. 



like poncho, the Ccapac-ongo of spotless white, bordered 
with precious stones. This robe was short to expose golden 
knee coverings. The suntur-paucar was a headdress of gold 
ornamented on each side with spurs and surmounted by two 
white feathers of the royal bird coraquenque, 1 * on its front 
was the figure of Inti-churi the sun god. About the head was 
a soft turban termed llauta of red, from which was suspend- 
ed a scarlet fringe of wool the borla the especial badge of 
sovereignty, while two bandelettes dropping to the shoulders 
formed a frame around the face somewhat suggestive of an 
Egyptian headdress. On state occasions a collar of emeralds 
was worn, and the hair was decorated with golden ornaments. 
On the monarch's feet were golden usutas or sandals, and a 
fringe of red feathers was about the ankles. From the left 


shoulder hung a striped mantle, while a band worn saltier- 
wise suspended a little bag known as cliuspa woven in deli- 
cate patterns from the finest wool of the vicuna in which 
the Coca leaves were carried. This bag was as important a 
portion of the vestments of the sovereign as was the royal 
headdress, or the camppi sceptre, held in his right hand. 
The people of the Inca were distinguished by the varying 
colors of their headdress that of the immediate family was 
yellow, while for the royal descendants it was black, and even 
the attendants wore some distinctive dress, the court livery 
being blue, while that for the guards, the army and for the 
nobles was all different and at once showed not only the rank, 
but lineage. 

i The "Coraquenque" or "Alcamari" is a vulture-like bird of the higher 
Andes. It has a scarlet head, black body with long white wing feathers. The 
Incas believed there was but a s'ngle pair of these birds, created to supply the 
two white feathers in the crown of each monarch. 



Usage allowed this mighty king one wife, termed coya, 
though he was privileged to maintain a royal harem formed 
of as many concubines as might be thought fitting to his pleas- 
ure. Usually these were maidens chosen from the Virgins 
of the Sun. Once they had basked in the royal sunshine, an 
element of grandeur clung to them ever after, even though 
they might be cast aside. During the most brilliant epoch 
of the monarchy these concubines are said to have numbered 


fully seven hundred, each one having many servants. As may 
\>e inferred, the progeny of the sovereign was numerous, some 
of the Incas having left more than three hundred descend- 
ants. 15 

The daughters of the sovereign were termed nusias when 
maidens, and pallas when married. While some few may 
have been privileged to grace the royal court, the majority 
were sent in childhood as Virgins to be educated in the 

1B Garcilasso; 1609. 


Temple of the Sun under the supervision of a mamacona or 
mother superior. Here, tenderly guarded in chaste seclusion, 
they were taught to tend the sacred fires until chosen to be- 
come concubines liuayru-aclla for the sovereign. Thus the 
royal blood was continued through an exclusive descent by 
these incestuous unions similar to those practiced in the East. 

The male children of the wife were the royal successors 
and formed the heads of tribes or ayllus. They were carefully 
educated in their youth by the amautas or learned men until 
such time as they were fitted for the huaracu, a ceremony 
similar to the Order of Knighthood of the Middle Ages pos- 
sibly more nearly resembling the initiation into the Ancient 
Mysteries. The successful candidates were accorded privi- 
leges of manhood and thereafter permitted to wear the chuspa 
and use the royal Coca, emblematic of vigor and endurance. 
The male descendants of the concubines, while regarded as 
princes, could not take succession, but they were considered 
as of noble lineage and entrusted with important offices. 

The physical appearance of the Incan race may be sur- 
mised from the early paintings which are still preserved at 
Lima, and a comparison of these with the Peruvian Indians 
of to-day. In stature they were from five feet six to five feet 
ten inches, with well knit frames, the muscular system not 
pronouncedly developed, the limbs rounded with underlying 
fatty tissue, of slender form, yet capable of prolonged en- 
durance; the head large and square, the complexion a fresh 
olive, nose aquiline, eyes slightly oblique, the hair straight 
and black. Their features were almost of a feminine cast and 
strongly suggestive of the Mongolian type. 

The government of the Incan Empire was so cleverly 
planned that the sovereign had at all times the closest super- 
vision over the minutest detail concerning his subjects. This 
was maintained by a sub-division of officials, who made 
monthly reports to their chief. Inspections were frequent and 
punishment, from which there was no appeal for any offense, 
was almost immediate and in any case within five days, Avhile 
the officer who failed to enforce the appropriate punishment 
was himself liable to the same penalty as the guilty. The 


form of punishment was usually death, though not inflicted 
in a way of torture. The code of civil laws was very concise, 
embracing the following commandments : 

Ama quellanquichu Avoid idleness. 

Ama llullanquichu Avoid lying. 

Ama suacunquichu Avoid stealing. 

Ama huachocchucanqui Avoid adultery. 

Ama pictapas huanuchinquichu Avoid murder. 

The breaking of any law was considered not only as an offense 
against the community, but a sacrilege against the divinity of 
the sovereign. 

There were special officers to oversee every industry as 
well as to govern every means for the public good. The va- 
rious departments of agriculture especially the cultivation 
of the Coca crops, were carefully supervised, while the roads, 
the bridges and the waterways each received direct attention. 
Even hospitality was governed, while rules \vere laid down 
to promote social intercourse, to insure fulfillment of which 
the doors of the houses could not be secured, so that every- 
thing might be free to inspection by the Llactacamayoc or 
superintendent of towns, at any time. These several offices 
were usually filled by descendants of the nobility the aqui 
or sons of royal princes, who were not only appointed gover- 
nors of provinces, but led the mitimaes or colonists. 

Agriculture was carried to a high state of perfection and 
the Inca as a Patron of husbandry set a worthy example at 
the beginning of each season by breaking the ground with a 
golden plough on the terraces back of Cuzco. Every available 
piece of earth was cultivated. Upon the barren mountains, 
where there was not sufficient soil, terraces or andenerias, 
as they were termed, were built. These, of varying height 
arid breadth according to the inclination of the mountain, were 
walled with rock and filled with suitable earth. In such 
places the early method of Coca cultivation was largely fol- 
lowed, some of these steps being only wide enough to main- 
tain a single row of plants. Another method of gaining an 
area of suitable ground was by digging huge pits, known as 


lioyas, fifteen or twenty feet deep and often covering in area 
an acre of ground. These were filled with appropriate manure 
and soil for the local cultivation of just such form of vegeta- 
tion as was desired. Some of these pits were so substantially 
built as to remain as examples of surprise to the modern trav- 
eller. 16 

The Incas carried their system of irrigation to the greatest 
perfection through a series of canals known as acequias. These 
were constructed on so substantial an order that many of 
them are still in existence some in a state of decay, while 
others are now in use. They were built of slabs of sandstone 
cleverly laid together, as were all the Incan buildings, with- 
out the use of cement. They were capable of carrying a large 
volume of water, which was usually brought from one of the 
elevated lakes on the mountains, with such additions as might 
be made to it from smaller streams in its course. These 
canals were carried through all obstacles through rocks, 
around mountains, across rivers and marshes and were of 
very great length. One passing through the district of Conde- 
suyu was nearly five hundred miles long. 17 Lacarrillca the 
god of irrigation was supposedly responsible for this great 
perfection of watering which the practical industry of these 
people carried in every direction to distribute fertility and 
verdure, where a higher civilization has permitted a lapse into 
desolate barrenness. 

It was a peremptory Incan law that all must labor at some- 
thing, and each subject was assigned to a certain occupation, 
so the various industries were followed by workers who had 
been trained through long experience. It is astonishing to 
consider how these industries were continued without what 
we consider appropriate appliances, for steel was unknown to 
the early Peruvians, and although iron was plenty about 
them it was not used. Their weapons and tools were made 
of stone or a peculiar alloy of copper known as champi, 
made from a mixture of copper and tin, after the manner of 
some of the Eastern nations, the secret of which has never 
been learned. With this the Incans made picks, crowbars and 

19 Stevenson; 1825. "Prescott; 1S48. 


hammers, which enabled them to mine the precious ores in 
the mountains, and from the metals obtained they represented 
the various natural objects that were known to them. Gold 
was fashioned, molded and cut in every conceivable shape. 
Plates of this metal were used to line the Temple of the Sun, 
while statues of life size and of massive weight were neatly 
wrought from it. The same metal was drawn into delicate 
threads, which were interwoven in the royal fabrics, while 
small plates and variously shaped golden figures were worn 
upon the borders of the robes. Animals, fruits, flowers and 
plants were all fashioned in gold, and thin coverings of this 
were so cunningly put about objects as to make them appear 
to be of solid gold. 18 A similar merit in technical design is 
shown in the relics of Incan pottery, as also in the textile 
fabrics which these people wove from the finest wools. These 
each display an artistic cleverness in imitation. 

The Incan architecture, while not of a very high order, 
had an effectual grandeur which has been favorably com- 
pared to that of the Egyptians and early Greeks. The build- 
ings, which were usually but one story, were commonly built 
of granite or porphyry, or an adobe of great hardness, the 
composition of which is not known. A peculiarity of the 
Incan buildings is the battered walls sloping from the base 
upward, and straight cut doorways of a similar slant, with 
flat roofs or domes of thatch in some instances of great 
thickness. The structures often covered considerable space 
and were built of many courts surrounding a central opening, 
after a style that is pronouncedly Egyptian. The stones were 
laid togethel* without cement and where timbers were used 
these were bound together with thongs made from the fibre of 
the American aloe or maguey. 

Those of the masses who were not fitted for more laborious 
work often became herbalists, and it is probable the Incans 
had an intimate knowledge of the plants about them and their 
application in an empirical way. The women and children 
were commonly employed in the Coca harvests and to this day 

18 It has been suggested that gold was molded as an amalgam with mercury, 
which was after drawn off by heat. Yet this action of mercury is said not to have 
been known to the Incas. 



'">, M 

V . 



the gathering of these leaves is best done by this class of labor. 
Spinning, it would seem, was hardly carried on as a separate 
employment, but was followed, as it is still continued by their 
descendants, by those nimble fingers not otherwise employed. 
The women were required to weave a certain amount of cloth 
as a portion of their contribution to the general stores of the 
country. All products of labor were divided between the high 
priest, the government, the warriors who by their military 
duties were prevented from industrial pursuits and the 
Inca. After these tributes had been paid, the subject w r as free 
to use his time to his individual wants. If the products of any 
province fell short the deficiency was supplied from some 
other section. Those provinces that cultivated the soil w r ere 
obliged to contribute to those where only mining could be 
pursued, and so the earnings of the entire country were equal- 
ized by a legally arranged distribution, for money was not in 
use and indeed was unnecessary. So automatic had this sys- 
tem of equalization become at the time of the Conquest, that 
the Spaniards saw Incan officers noting the damages that had 
been done in any one province and endeavoring to make these 
good by assessments upon districts that had not been interfered 

The subjects, as we have seen, were divided into small 
clans. It was the law that each year every male member 
should be allotted a certain measure of land fanega equal 
to an area which could be sown with one hundred pounds of 
maize, the cultivation of which would be sufficient not only to 
support him, but to provide the necessary tribute demanded by 
the government. No subject was permitted to leave the tribe 

ayllu nor the portion of land to which he was assigned. 
Thus there could be no roaming about in search of wealth or 
adventure, and no discontent, for, as has been shown, all tem- 
poral necessities, and presumably all spiritual requirements 
as well, were provided for by the sovereign. At a proper age 

usually at twenty-four in the men and at eighteen in the 
women marriage became compulsory, but a choice was per- 
mitted and the consent of the family was deemed necessary. 
Upon a certain day of each year the couples were joined in 


the public square by a representative of the Inca, and a suit- 
able home was provided for them, an extra portion of land be- 
ing at the same time allotted, while a similar grant was made 
at the birth of each child. 

The Inca was not only the head of the temporal power, 
but because of his divine origin the representative of the 
spiritual light as well. All of the religious feasts were ap- 
pointed by him, and once each year he entered the most sacred 
place in the Temple of the Sun stripped of his magnificence 
as a token of humility, to give thanks and crave for continued 
protection. Special sacrifices of Coca were made at these 
times and, in fact, it was considered essential that supplicants 
should only approach the altars with Coca in their mouths, and 
the idea was prevalent among the Peruvians that any impor- 
tant affair attempted without an accompanying offer of Coca 
could not prosper. 

At stated intervals the sovereign travelled through his 
dominions, being carried in state over those famous roads 
which the Incas had constructed. The people along the way 
everywhere vying with each other to do homage to their sov- 
ereign, cleaned the road from every loose stick or stone and 
strewed flowers before the royal litter, while the places where 
halts were made were ever after considered as sacred. The 
royal liamaca, or sedan, was a sort of open throne emblazoned 
with gold and of inestimable value. It was richly decorated 
with plumes of tropical birds and brilliantly studded with 
jewels, 19 and borne on the shoulders of subjects chosen as a 
mark of honor, though the post was not coveted, for a fall 
w r as punished with death. Accompanying the cortege was an 
immense retinue of warriors and nobles. 

There were two chief roadways, one built along the coast 
and another at an elevation on the mountains, both of which 
extended through the length of the domain and are estimated 
to have been nearly two thousand miles long. The coast road 
was some fifteen to twenty feet in width, carefully paved, and 
having a wall running at either side to prevent the accumula- 
tion of drifting sand. Wooden posts were erected to mark out 

is Prescott; 1848. 


the line of travel when crossing the desert, while in the upper 
road stone pillars after the manner of mile stones were set at 
intervals. The mountain road was the more important, and 
was conducted over paths often buried in snow, at other places 
cut through miles of solid rock, or crossing ravines and 
streams over frail-looking suspension bridges made of maguey 
fibre woven into cables. The whole construction has been pro- 
nounced worthy the most courageous engineer of modern 
times. Portions of these roads which still remain show a 
pavement of cobble stones, though some writers describe a 
flagging of freestone covered with an artificial cement which 
was harder than stone. 20 In places where the streams have 
washed away the substratum of earth arches of such a material 
are often found. 21 

Along these roadways, Corpa-huasi, or store houses, were 
erected at intervals, where Coca, quinoa, various fabrics and 
supplies were stored for the troops, while at shorter inter- 
vals there were post houses with relays of couriers or run- 
ners known as chasquis, who were at all times ready to con- 
vey messages with marvelous rapidity. These messengers, 
unlike some modern examples, were selected for their swift- 
ness, and as the distance each courier ran was small, there 
was ample time to rest. The runners were sustained and 
stimulated in these efforts by the chewing of Coca leaves, each 
messenger being allowed a portion suited to the exertion which 
he might be required to perform. A despatch having been 
given to a chasqui at one end of the line, he ran to the next 
post house, and when within hearing commenced to shout the 
nature of his message, which \vas at once taken up by another 
runner, and so sent along the line. By this method it is said 
messages were conveyed at the rate of one hundred and fifty 
miles a day. 22 Montesinos relates that Huayna Ccapac ate 
fresh fish at Cnzco which had been caught in the sea the day 
before, although some three hundred miles away. 

It is remarkable that we have so correct an account of the 
customs of the Incas when it is considered they had no written 

20 Velasco: Historic de Quito. 

21 Humboldt said these roads were the most useful and stupendous works ever 
executed by man. 22 Prescott; 1848. 


language nor even a system of hieroglyphics or picture writ- 
ing, as did some of the peoples contemporary with them. Their 
doings were handed down orally by a system of court orators 
known as yaravecs, who related at the councils before the sov- 
ereign the history of the royal race in detail. In these rela- 
tions, however, it was not considered good form to speak of the 
achievements of the existing monarch. This ceremony was 
carried out on all state occasions, and intimately rehearsed 
not only the valorous deeds and laudatory undertakings of the 
preceding Incas, but also of the nobles and chiefs as well as 
A r arious matters of interest to the people. In this manner all 
that had occurred throughout the empire was passed in review 
at frequent intervals, and so continued from one generation 
to another. They were assisted in these marvelous examples 
of memorizing by a knotted, fringe-like instrument, known 
as a quipu. 23 This contrivance consisted of a large cord, va- 
rying in length from two to six feet, usually woven from 
llama wool, from which hung cords variously knotted and of 
different colors. In some cases the colors were emblematic of 
special objects, as white silver, yellow gold, or green 
Coca. Again they might denote abstract ideas, as white 
peace, red war, or green the harvest, while a combination 
of knots usually referred to amounts. These instruments 
were in charge of the quipucamayus, or keepers of the quipus. 
By this aid they were at all times in readiness to supply the 
government with special information in detail. 

Calculations were made from the quipu with the greatest 
rapidity, more rapidly, says Garcilasso, than could an expert 
mathematician cast up an account in figures. After the Con- 
quest the Spaniards were astonished at these phenomenal exhi- 
bitions of memory, which often tended to embarrass them 
through the verbal exactitude in which transactions were de- 
liberately reiterated. These orators were permitted to have 
recourse to Coca to strengthen, if not stimulate, their capacity 
for recollecting, while the quipu was referred to as a sort of 
mnemotechny, or artificial memory. This manner of recall- 
ing a thought is analogous to the wampum of the Indians of 

23 Quipu a knot. 







the North Atlantic coast, which was composed of bits of wood 
strung together and worn as a belt ; to the phylacteries of the 
early Hebrews, by which they preserved before their minds the 
words of the law, and to the rosary of the Catholics instituted 
by St. Dominic as a means of meditation. Each keeper of a 
quipu was not expected to recount all the doings of the em- 
pire, but there were specialists who recorded only certain 
matters. One had charge of the revenues of the state, an- 
other recorded the vital statistics, another recorded the condi-. 
tion and yield of the crops, and these several instruments were 
sent to the capital, where they constituted the national arch- 
ives. When the royal orator related his account of the doings 
of any department of the empire, he was assisted by a refer- 
ence to these knotted records. The recital commenced with an 
address to the sovereign ; thus one referring to Coca is thus re- 
lated : 

"Oh, mighty lord, son of the Sun and of the Incas, thy 
fathers, thou who knoweth of the bounties which have been 
granted thy people, let me recall the blessings of the divine 
Coca which thy privileged subjects are permitted to enjoy 
through thy progenitors, the sun, the moon, the earth, and the 
boundless hills," following which prelude were recounted the 
uses and benefits of their sacred plant as might be appropriate 
to the occasion. 

These oft-repeated accounts were taught by the amautas to 
their pupils, and by this method history in even minute de- 
tails was handed down from one generation to another with 
remarkable exactitude. These knot records were largely de- 
stroyed by the Spanish after the Conquest through a belief 
that they were emblems of idolatry, so that much valuable in- 
formation has been lost to us, presuming that any interpreta- 
tion might now be made from such means. 24 

Cuzco, the royal city, was divided into four parts, like the 

It is said that before the accession of the Emperor Fo-Fli, 3,300 years B. C., 
the Chinese were not acquainted with writing, and used the knotted records or 
cords with sliding knots after the manner of the instrument known as an abacus 
used for teaching children numbers. These were known as Ho-tu and Lo-shu. 
Confucius relates that the men of antiquity used knotted cords to convey their 
orders, while those who succeeded them substituted signs or figures for these 
cords, Jaffray; Nature, Vol. II, p. 405; 1876. The people of Western Africa are 
also said to have used similar instruments. Astley's Voyages. 


Empire, and with the same titles. The four great divisions 
of the country were each ruled over by a Governor, aided by 
his councils from the different departments. The chiefs usu- 
ally resided in the capital, which was not only the royal city, 
but the holy city, venerated as the abode of the Incan sover- 
eign son of the sun, but also the lodging place for the sev- 
eral deities of the conquered nations. Here was the Mecca 
to which each subject of importance at some period of his life 
strove to have his duty lead him, for none could travel with- 
out the royal command. 

The Incans had an especial love for music, and there were 
officers whose duty it was to cultivate the Muses, the subjects 
commonly being neglected love, or descriptive of some un- 
fortunate event. The haravecs wrote the poetry, which was 
usually in lines of four syllables, in alternation with those of 
three. The poetic sentiment of this verse is shown by many 
examples given by Garcilasso. In one of these the moon ac- 
cuses her brother, the sun, with breaking a vase and so causing 
a fall of snow. Here is a fragment of one of their love songs : 

Caylla llapi To the song. 
Pununqui You will sleep. 
Chanpi tuta In dead of night. 
Hamusac I will come. 

There have been several cleverly written Incan plays, 
which are attributed to the amautas, who are said to have com- 
posed comedies and tragedies, in which were interwoven pas- 
toral stories and military deeds. After the Conquest the 
Jesuits wrote down many of these plays, and there is some 
conflict of opinion as to just how much is of ancient Incan 
origin, and what portion later Spanish. Under the title of 
"Ollantay" 25 there is a very charming little drama which is 
supposed to date long before the Conquest. The events which 
are historical, are presumed to have occurred between 1340 
and 1400. The following argument, which is compiled from 
the translations of Mr. Markham and of Mr. Squire, is an 

25 Oil, a corruption of the Quichua Ull legend, Antay of the Andes. 


effort to present the imagination and poetry of these people as 
displayed through this little play. 26 

Ollantay, a brave general of Anti-suyu, who had carried 
the Incan conquests farthest east, was illegally wedded to the 
Princess Cusi-Ccoyllur the joyful star, who was the chief 
beauty of the court and daughter of the Inca Pachacutec. In 
vain the Villac-Umu, or high priest, endeavored to dissuade 
him, and even performed a miracle by squeezing water out of 
a flower to divert him from his unfortunate passion, guilty 
alike in the eyes of religion and the law, for none but Incas 
could ally themselves with those of the royal blood. Pacha- 
cutec contemptuously rejected this suitor for his daughter's 
hand, and Ollantay fled to the mountains. Here he recounted 
his wrongs to his w r arriors, and being assured of their assist- 
ance, he arose in rebellion, determined to seek revenge. In 
his flight from the capital he poetically soliloquized : 

"O Cuzco! Beautiful city! 
From henceforth 
I will be thy enemy! thy enemy! 
I will break thy bosom without mercy; 
I will tear out thy heart; 
I will give thee to the condors! 
That enemy! That Ynca! 
MiLions of thousands 
Of Antis will I collect. 
I will distribute arms, 
I will guide them to the spot. 
Thou shalt see the Sacsahuaman 
As a speaking cloud. 
Thou shalt sleep in blood. 
Thou, O Ynca! shall be at my feet, 
Then shalt thou see 
If I have few Yuncas 
If thy neck cannot be reached. 
Wilt then not give 
Thy daughter to me? 
Wilt then loosen that mouth? 
Art thou then so mad 
That thou canst not speak, 
Even when I am on my knee? 
But I shall then be Ynca! 
Then thou shalt know, 
And this shall soon happen." 

28 Although the plot Is very ancient, it has been asserted that this drama 
was composed by Dr. Valdez. 


Ollantay occupied the great fortress of colossal ruins, 
which has ever since been called Ollautay-Tampu, where he 
maintained himself during ten years. Meanwhile Cusi- 
Ccoyllur gave birth to a child, who was named Yma-Sumac 
"how beautiful" for which transgression the princess was 
confined in a dungeon in the Aclla-liuasi, or Convent of Sacred 
Virgins. Shortly after this Ollantay was captured by a clever 
stratagem of the opposing general, Ruminani, whose name, 
"Stony Eye," suggests keen penetration and a cold, implacable 
character. Appearing before the rebel covered with blood, he 
declared he had been cruelly treated by the Inca, and desired 
to join the insurrection. Encouraging the insurgents to cele- 
brate the festival in drunken orgies, he admitted his own 
troops and captured the whole party, including Ollantay, who 
was brought to Cuzco to suffer death. But meantime the re- 
lentless father Inca Pachacutec, had died, and his son, whose 
younger heart could better appreciate the tender passions, was 
touched by the rebel warrior's romance, and not only pardoned 
him, but consented to the general's marriage with his sister. 
Another drama termed Uscar-Pancar, or the loves of the 
golden flower Ccorittica, contains many beautiful passages. 

Although Montesinos gives a list of a hundred Incas, com- 
mencing long before the Christian era, the following is the 
more commonly accepted line of succession : 

I 1021 Manco Ccapac. 
II 1062 Sinchi Rocca. 
Ill 1091 Lloque Yupanqui. 
IV 1126 Mayta Ccapac. 
V 1156 Ccapac Yupanqui. 
VI 1197 Inca Rocca. 
VII 1249 Yahnar-huaccac. 
VIII 1289 Viracocha. 
IX 1340 Pachacutec. 
X 1400 Inca Yupanqui. 
XI 1439 Tupac Inca Yupanqui. 
XII 1475 Huayna Ccapac. 
XIII 1526 Huascar. 
XIV 1532 Inca Manco. 
XV 1553 Sayri Tupac. 
XVI 1560 Cusi Titu Yupanqui. 
XVII 1562 Tupac Amaru. 


It was said that at the death of Manco Ccapac he ap- 
pointed that his treasures should be employed for the service 
of his body and for the feeding of his family, and from this 
precedent continued the custom that no sovereign should in- 
herit the belongings of the previous Inca, so that each suc- 
cessor built a new palace and established a new court. The re- 
mains of some of these edifices are still to be seen, notably the 
palace of Manco Ccapac on Sacsahuaman Hill back of Cuzco, 
and at least six other palace ruins in the Incan capital. 
The rulers of the Incan race are said to have descended in an 
unbroken line, while in the latter years of the dynasty the 
wife was chosen from a sister of the Inca to keep the royal 
blood even more holy, for although legendary accounts de- 
scribe the first Inca as appearing with his sister wife, such a 
custom of marriage seems only to have 'been instituted by a 
later sovereign. 

The religious forms of the Incas are replete with interest, 
and it seems fitting that these sliould be considered in a sep- 
arate review, which will recount some of the uses made by this 
race of the Coca they considered as divine in their rites and 



"The Universal Cause 
Acts not- by partial, but by gen'ral laws; 
And makes what happiness we justly call, 
Subsist not in good of one, but all." 

Pope, Essay, iii., i. 

HE religion of the Incas has been 
commonly set down as exclus- 
ively the worship of the sun, 
while their traditions trace the 
progenitors of this race as pro- 
ceeding from the sun, as chil- 
dren or brothers. 

It is interesting in view of the 
supposed Eastern origin of the 
Incans, to compare their belief 

in a mythical ancestry from the sun with similar beliefs 
among Eastern peoples. Many of the ancient families of 
Hindustan claim descent from the sun, their solar dynasty 
numbering ninety-five successors. Every king of Egypt was 
styled Ze-Ra or son of the sun. The sun god of the Ca- 
naanites was Baal lord, a title they prefixed to each deity. 

Dr. Brinton, from a special study of myth-lore, suggested 
heliolatry was organized by the Incas for political ends, to 
impress upon the masses that Inii, the sun, their own elder 



brother, was the ruler of the cohorts of heaven by like divine 
right that they were of the four quarters of the earth. 1 Sun 
worship prevailed in ancient times among many of the early 
races. The sun was the most wonderful object the people be- 
held. Its presence was the giver of light, of heat and of life, 
while when it had set there was darkness, and a stillness sug- 
gestive of the end of all things. Thus it seems but natural 
that the sun should have been regarded as divine, together 
with those objects that were, considered its representative, as 
the moon, the stars and fire. 2 The followers of that ancient 
philosopher, Zoroaster, considered fire the supreme emblem of 
divine intelligence. In ancient Baalbek the sun was wor- 
shiped with great ceremony. Turning toward the sun was a 
practice among certain Hebrews. 3 The Parsee looks toward 
the sun in prayer, and the custom of facing the East has been 
continued in the modern church. So from a regard of the 
sun as the creator of all things, it was but a single step to look 
upon the several representatives of that element as symbols 
of life and generation from which lesser emblems were chosen. 
Thus the egg as the germ of living matter, the cock which by 
its early morning crow seems to call forth the sun, the ser- 
pent because of casting its skin and so regaining fresh youth 
annually, the phallus* and even our Easter flowers, have each 
been looked upon as sacred emblems suggesting creation, if 
not directly worshiped. It was in this same spirit that Coca 
was considered as the divine plant, because it was the means 
of force and strength as well as a stimulant to reproduction ; 
and the Incan Venus was represented as holding a spray of 
Coca as typifying the power and fruitfulness of love. 4 

The Incas did not consider the sun as the Supreme Being, 
but only His representative. Thus at a grand religious coun- 
cil, held about the year 1440, to consecrate the newly built 
Temple of the Sun, Inca Yupanqui spoke to his subjects as 
follows : "Many say that the sun is the maker of all things, 

1 Brinton; 1868. 

2 The Hindus said: "God is the fire of the altar "Bhagavat-Gila, p. 54. The 
Scriptures bear frequent reference to God appearing in a flame. Genesis, iii, 24; 
xv, 17; Exodus, iii, 2; xix, 18; Deuteronomy, iv, 24, etc. 

3 EzeMel, viii, 16. 

* From Phala fruit, and Isa the god, hence the fructifier. 

* Marcoy; 1869. 


but he who makes should abide by what he has made. Now 
many things happen when the sun is absent, therefore he can- 
not be the universal creator; and that he is alive at all is 
doubtful, for his trips do not tire him. Were he a living 
thing he would grow weary, like ourselves; were he free he 
would visit other parts of the heavens. He is like a tethered 
beast, who makes a daily round under the eye of a master ; 
he is like an arrow which must go whither it is sent, not 
whither it wishes. I tell you that he, our father and master 
the sun, must have a lord and master more powerful than 
himself, who constrains him to his daily circuit without pause 
or rest." 5 

Thus it will be seen that the sun, moon and lesser lights 
were worshiped merely as symbols, while to enforce a belief 
that the race descended from their sacred emblem emphasized 
the divine origin of the Inca, whose authority was unques- 
tioned, for if we except the incident of Ollantay, no case of 
rebellion was known through the entire rule of these people up 
to the period when the Empire was divided between the broth- 
ers Huascar and Atahualpa, just prior to the Conquest. 

The attempts to explain the various phenomena of nature 
and even of existence have led man to attribute to surrounding 
natural objects the spirit that is felt in himself with often an 
endeavor to typify these ideal conceptions. Darwin claimed 
there could be no inherent belief in God, but that it only de- 
veloped after much education. There have been many races 
without gods, and even without words to express the idea. 
The Incas gave practical expression to the truth underlying 
the phrase : "The greatest happiness of the greatest number ;" 
and reviewing their race in this light, we must consider they 
had reached a very high stage of civilization, for not only their 
morals but their social relations were regulated by law. 

There is not only a similarity in many rites of these early 
Americans with the Eastern forms, but a similarity in the 
magnificence of the buildings dedicated to their worship. The 
Temples of the Sun of the Egyptian Heliopolis and the Syrian 
Baalbek were perhaps prototypes of the Peruvian temples. 

B Balboa; 1580. 


It seems fitting in the infancy of the world that ceremonies 
should be few and yet surrounded with a sufficient mystery as 
to keep the elect above the masses, a distinction which was 
maintained by adding new rites and ceremonies from time to 
time until the system of worship became more intricate. Mai- 
monides supposed the antedeluvians became sun worshipers 
from a belief that the heavenly bodies were placed by God, 
and used by Him as His ministers. It was evidently His 
will that they should receive from man the same veneration as 
the servants of a great prince justly claim from the subject 
multitude. This is suggestive of why throughout the world 
similar deities are worshiped, though under a variety of 
names. The sun and Noah were worshiped in conjunction 
with the moon and the ark, the latter pair representing the 
female principle, and acknowledged in different localities 
under the various names of Isis, Venus, Astarte, Ceres, Pros- 
erpine, Khea, Sita, Ceridwen, Frea, etc., while the former, or 
male element, assumed the titles of Osiris, Saturn, Jupiter, 
Neptune, Bacchus, Adonis, Brahma or Odin. Thus was a 
gradual transition made from the helioarkite superstition to 
the phallic worship, w T hile from the fact that each of these 
lesser deities was represented by some natural object as a sym- 
bol, these latter were often looked upon as the real objects of 
worship. In Egypt there was a system of taxation to de- 
fray the expense of keeping the sacred animals, just as 
among the Incas tribute of Coca was exacted to support the 

There has been frequent comparison by many writers be- 
tween the Incas and the Hindus because of many similar cere- 
monies, many of their customs being identical. Like the 
Hindus, the Incas had the custom of deifying attributes in- 
stead of, like the Greeks, making gods of men. Thus the In- 
can sovereign was the ruler of the four quarters of the globe, 
while Brahma had four heads, which represent the four quar- 
ters of the earth. The origin of these four heads is explained 
in legend : "When Brahma assumed a mortal shape he was 
pleased to manifest himself in Cashmir. Here one-half of his 

De Idolatria. 





body sprang from the other, which yet experienced no diminu- 
tion, and out of the severed moiety he framed a woman, de- 
nominated Iva, or Satarupa. 7 Her beauty was such as to ex- 
cite the love of the god, but deeming her his daughter, he was 
ashamed to own his passion. During this conflict between 
shame and love he remained motionless, with his eyes fixed 
upon her. Satarupa perceived his situation, and stepped 
aside to avoid his ardent looks. Brahma, being unable to 
move but still desirous to see her, a new face sprang out upon 
him towards the object of his desires. 8 Again she shifted her 
situation and another face emanated from the enamored god. 
Still she avoided his gaze, until the incarnate deity become 
conspicuous with four faces directed to the four quarters of 
the world, beheld her incessantly to whatever side she with- 
drew herself. At length she recovered her self-possession, 
when the other half of his body sprang from him and became 
Swayam-bhuva or Adima. Thus were prodiiced the first 
man and woman, and from their embrace were born three 
sons, in whom the Trimurtti became incarnate." 9 

Festivals were celebrated in various parts of Greece in 
honor of Dionysius, in which the phallus, as a symbol of the 
fertility of nature, was borne in procession by men disguised 
as women. Hammond has described a custom among the 
Pueblo Indians of JSTew Mexico in which one of the males is 
rendered sexually impotent, being termed a mujerado. He 
thereafter dresses like a woman, and is set apart for the orgies 
practiced by these Indians after the manner cf the ancient 
Greeks and Egyptians. A similar custom was practiced 
among the Incans during Sinchi Rocca's reign, when extrava- 
gant indulgence was given to every form of licentiousness. It 
is reported the Inca caused constant search to be made for 
chutarpu as the male form was called, and for huanarpu 
the female form, and these finally became so common that 
they were offered as presents. But just as all extremes regu- 
late themselves, the son of this libidinous sovereign not only 

7 The female half of Brahma's body; the type of all female creatures. 
5 The triad of gods of the Hindu mythology is Bramha, Vishnu and Siva, 
whose attributes are Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. 

Mntsya Purana, in Faber ; 1'agan Idolatry, vol. i, p. 319. 



forbade this practice, but set an example of celibacy by re- 
maining single till he was an old man. 10 

Though the early Peruvians were sensual, they appreci- 
ated and respected continence in both sexes. Their virtues 
were indeed so many that it would be astonishing if they pos- 
sessed no faults. There are frequent examples to be seen 
among Peruvian pottery of objects which, though carefully 
designed and finished, would not bear reproduction. At times 

LINGAM IN INDIAN THMPLE. [Richard Payne Knight.] 

these assume a decided phallic form. The huacanquis were 
stone phalli, which served as love charms, for which purpose 
certain plants were in general use which were supposed to pos- 
sess irresistible properties. Among the zodiacal constella- 
tions of the Incans two bore the name of the sexual organs. 
In the East the phallus was worn as an amulet against Maloc- 
chi evil eye or enchantments, as well as for its supposed 
aphrodisiac influence. Among the modern specimens repre- 
sentative of this form of worship, a clinched hand with the 

10 Santa Cruz; 1620. 


point of the thumb thrnst between the index and middle fin- 
gers is probably an emblem of consummation. A little shell 
concha veneris, worn in its natural state, is evidently the 
emblem of the yoni, while another representing the half moon, 
usually made of some precious metal, relates to the menses. 
The linga is the symbol under which the Hindu deity, Siva, is 
worshiped. It is commonly represented as a conical stone 
rising perpendicularly from an oval-shaped rim cut on a 
stone platform. The salunkha is the top of the lingam altar, 
and the pranalika is a gutter or spout for drawing off the 
water poured on the lingam. The lingam is the Priapus of 
the Romans, and the phallic emblem of the Greeks, while the 
oval lines sculptured about it refer to the yoni or bhaga, sym- 
bolic of the female form. These two emblems represent the 
physiological form of worship which has been followed by the 
great Saiva sect for at least fifteen hundred years. This wor- 
ship is unattended by any indecent or indelicate ceremonies, 
and it would be difficult to trace any resemblance between the 
symbols and the objects they represent. Perhaps eighty mil- 
lion Hindu people still worship these idols, which are com- 
mon in every part of British India. It is remarkable, in view 
of the comparison of many Incan rites with those of the East, 
that numerous phallic specimens indicate that this cult was 
practiced among the early Peruvians. 

Representations of the serpent are frequently found among 
Peruvian relics, for serpent worship was a conspicuous ele- 
ment of the Incan ritual and religion. There was an annual 
serpent dance in which it is asserted that the dancers held an 
immense golden cable, each link of which w T as fashioned as a 
serpent with its tail in its mouth, and the dancers seem to have 
followed a serpentine course through the streets of Cuzco. A 
similar dance among the Pueblo Indians has been described 
by the late Major Bourke, Dr. J. W. Fewkes and others. Mr. 
Stansbury Hagar has published an account of another serpent 
dance amongst the far-distant Micmacs of Nova Scotia. In 
Peruvian astrology the serpent rules the zodiacal sign of the 
Scorpion, in which position it symbolizes wisdom and, singu- 
larly enough, the diverse concepts death and immortal life; 



death because of its sting, immortal life because of its an- 
nual resurrection from its discarded skin, thus displaying a 
wisdom in what the Peruvians considered the acme of knowl- 
edge the evidence of life beyond the grave. As the symbol 
of life and the active life-giving power the serpent also attains 
phallic associations. Besides these relations it became from a 
variety of causes associated with time, the year and the 
zodiac. 11 The serpent appears on the ancient monuments at 


Tiahuanaco, and in Peruvian designs wrought in gold, sil- 
ver, pottery, cloth and stone and throughout many archi- 
tectural ornaments. So intimately associated was the snake 
with the astrology and with the rites of the Incans that it was 
included in the escutcheon granted them in 1544 by Charles 
the Fifth. 

Magnificent temples for the worship of the sun were 
erected all through the land of the Incas, the chief temple at 
Cuzco being on a scale of particular grandeur. It was situ- 
ated in the lower part of the royal city, on the high bank of 
the Huatenay, probably eighty feet above the bed of that 

"Hagar; person, com., May, 189&. 


stream. It was built in the same massive manner as were all 
the Incan structures and ornamented on a scale of unequaled 
magnificence, being lined with plates of gold, while all around 
the outside of the building ran a coronal of this metal about 
three feet in depth. At one end of the temple was an im- 
mense image in gold of the sun. Before this, in two parallel 
lines, were the embalmed or preserved bodies of the Incas. 
These, arranged in the order of their succession, sat in their 
royal robes upon golden thrones raised upon pedestals of gold, 
the mummy 12 of Huayna Ccapac, who was regarded as the 
greatest of the line, being honored by a special position in the 
very front of the golden emblem. 

The buildings which the Incans used for ceremonial 
rites were made as grand and imposing as a free use of the 
precious metals could make them. In the gardens surround- 
ing the temple at Cuzco, where as one of the Spanish chroni- 
clers stated, the trees and even the insects were of precious 
metal there were cleverly modeled representations of ani- 
mals, flowers and examples of the Coca plant, all exquisitely 
shaped in pure gold. Cuzco was in fact the repository of the 
wealth of the Empire, being literally, as it w r as termed, Cora- 
cancha,, the town of gold, for no gold or silver that was ever 
brought to the capital was permitted to leave it during the in- 
tegrity of the Empire. Near to the Temple of the Sun were 
other, structures dedicated to the moon, Venus, thunder, light- 
ning and the rainbow, all of w r hich were elaborately decorated 
with gold. Close to these was the convent aclldhuasi, of 
the Virgins of the Sun; that at Cuzco being an imposing 
structure some eight hundred feet long and two hundred and 
fifty feet broad. 

In the Incan religion no women were assigned to the Tiuaca 
of their supreme god, for as he created them, they all belonged 
to him, and this same idea was manifest in the royal selection. 
A lapse from virtue among these maidens was a crime so 
abominable that it was punished with death, the offender being 
burned or buried alive, as was also the penalty imposed 
among the Greeks. The male offender was not only put to 

12 The word mummy is derived from the Arabic MtimM bitumen. 


death, but his entire family was destroyed as well as his prop- 
erty and effects, and his habitation was left a desert, that there 
might remain neither tract, trace nor remembrance of him. 
The Temple of the Virgins 'at Cuzco during the height of the 
monarchy is said to have contained about fifteen hundred 
maidens who had been selected for their physical charms. 

The reigning Inca, as son of the sun, was at once sovereign 
and pontiff, exercising absolute authority over both temporal 
and spiritual matters, but the religious rites were performed 
by his representatives through a system of priesthood. The 
Villac-umu, or chief high priest, held office for life; he was 
appointed by the Inca, and was considered next in authority 
to him. His title, which implies "the head which gives coun- 
sel," explains his position. Priests of lower degree were ap- 
pointed by him, and to preserve the faith these were usually 
chosen from among the nobles. 

Each province had its Villac or chief priest, while be- 
iieath these were others who offered sacrifices in the temples, 
speakers to the oracle, together with soothsayers and diviners 
of all kinds, each being designated in accordance with the 
duties of his office. Thus the one who offered Coca leaves in 
the fire and foretold events from certain curlings of its smoke 
or other signs at the time of its combustion was termed viror 
piricue. The dress of the priests was white, emblematical of 
their purity in celibacy and fasts which they were required to 
practice. No ceremony was ever considered complete until 
the Villac had thrown Coca leaves to the four cardinal points, 
and from this association in every religious rite Coca was 
ultimately regarded by the masses as divine. Accompanying 
these ceremonies the priests offered prayers ; examples of these 
which have been preserved to us by the early writers express 
much sentiment. One which referred to the first fruits was 
as follows : 

"Oh, Creator ! Lord of the ends of the earth ! Oh, most 
merciful ! Thou, who givest life to all things, and hast made 
men that they may live, eat and multiply, multiply, also, the 
fruits of the earth, papas 13 and other foods that thou hast 

13 Papas potatoes. 


made, that men may not suffer from hunger and misery. Oh, 
preserve the fruits of the earth from frost, and keep us in 
peace and safety." 14 

Instead of sacrificing human victims, as was the custom of 
early barbarous nations, the Incans presented before the gold- 
en luminary the first fruits which had come to life through his 
genial warmth. At some of the festivals alihnals were sacri- 
ficed, and because of the fact that these were offered in the 
names of those who gave them, as puric adult man, and 
huahua a child, it has been wrongly asserted that human 
offerings were made. Their laws strictly prohibited this, and 
Markham has suggested that the statement that servants were 
sometimes sacrificed by their masters is disproved through the 
fact mentioned in the writings of "the anonymous Jesuit" 
that in none of the burial places opened by the Spanish were 
any human bones found except those of the lord who had been 
buried there. 

It might be supposed that as the Incas regarded the sun as 
their father they would have made an especial study of the 
heavens and been expert in astronomy, though they were not 
as advanced in this science as were the early Mexicans. They 
had a knowledge of certain constellations; the bright star 
Spica in Virgo they referred to as Mama Coca.* They 
divided their year into twelve lunar months, each distin- 
guished by an appropriate name and usually designated as 
well by some festival. The months were divided into weeks, 
but the number of days in each is not now known. To har- 
monize the lunar with their solar year, observations were made 
by means of certain upright stones similar to the stone circles 
of the Druids and like those found in parts of Northern 
Europe and Asia. The shadows from these stone pillars 
formed a scale for measuring the exact times of the solstices. 
The equinoxes were determined by an erect stone in shape like 
a truncate cone, projecting above a table of solid rock from 
which the whole was cut. This was termed intihuatana, 15 or 

11 Molina; 1570. 

* Hagar; person, com. May, 1899. 

1B Inti sun, finfitanathe place where or thing with which anything is tied 
up. Squier; p. 524, 1877. 


place where the sun is tied up. A line was drawn across the 
level platform from east to w 7 est, and observations were taken 
as to when the shadow of the pillar became continuous on this 
line from sunrise to sunset. When the shadow was scarcely 
visible under the noontide rays it was said "the god sat with 
all his light upon the column." 

Similar methods for determining the seasons certainly 
date from the most ancient times and were known to the early 
people of the East, who were even considered as capable of 
juggling with the sun's rays. Thus, when the prophet Isaiah 
offered to show King Hezekiah a sign that the Lord would 
heal him, he asked whether that sign should be that the sun's 
shadow should go forward ten degrees or go back ten degrees, 
"And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow 
to go down ten degrees ; nay, but let the shadow turn back- 
ward ten degrees," which miracle, it is related, the prophet 
showed. 16 

The period of the equinoxes was celebrated by important 
festivals, and similar festivals, differing in degree, formed an 
intimate part of the ceremonial worship of each month. The 
full moon was an occasion for honoring the deities of water 
and the patrons of agriculture, while her various phases were 
consecutively honored as having some bearing upon the crops. 
As the sun was their father, so the moon was to the Peruvians 
their Mama Quilla, the goddess of love and the patroness of 
marriage and childbirth. 

Various authorities differ as to the arrangement of the In- 
can months and the periods when the several festivals were 
celebrated. Molina commences the year with the first day of 
the new moon in May, and Prescott describes the feast of 
Raymi as the summer solstice. The reference I have chosen 
fixes this feast as the celebration of the winter solstice. This 
confusion may have occurred among the early Spanish writ- 
ings, because the word Raymi, which signifies to dance, is as- 
sociated in several of the Quichua feasts. The succession of 
the Incan months, as determined by the researches of the first 
Council of Lima, was as follows : 

18 2 Kings; xx, 10. 


1. Yntip Raymi June 22d to July 22 i. Festival of winter sol- 
stice or Raymi. 

2. Chahuarquiz July 22d to August 22d. Season of plowing. 
3. Yapa-quiz August 22d to September 22d. Season of sowing. 
4. Ccoya Raymi September 22d to October 22d. Festival of the 

spring equinox or Situ. 

5. Uma Raymi October 22d to November 22d. For brewing. 
6. Ayamarca November 22d to December 22d. Commemoration 

of the dead. 
7. Ccapac Raymi December 22d to January 22d. Festival of the 

summer solstice or Huaraca. 

8. Camay January 22d to February 22d. Season of exercises. 
9. Hatun-poccoy February 22d to March 22d. Season of ripening. 
10. Pacha-poccoy March 22d to April 22d. Festival of the autumn 

equinox or Mosoc Nina. 

11. Ayrihua April 22d to May 22d. Beginning of harvest. 
12. Aymuray May 22d to June 22d. Harvesting month. 

During the first month, Yntip Raymi, the festival of the 
winter solstice was celebrated, and especial attention was given 
to preparing the fields and arranging methods for their irriga- 
tion. Following this, during the month Chahuarquiz, the 
sovereign inaugurated the season of ploughing by turning up 
the soil on the royal terraces back of Cuzco with a golden 
plough, for, as has been shown, agriculture was taught as the 
favorite industry of this country, where many barren spots 
rendered fertile soil very precious. During Yapa-quiz maize 
was sown, from which time, until it had grown to a finger's 
height, the tarpuntaes, or special priests in charge of this har- 
vest, fasted from drinking chicha and from chewing Coca 
leaves, while the songs of the people besought prosperity, to 
favor which, offerings of Coca, maize and sheep were made. 

The festival of Situ the spring equinox, was held in 
Ccoya Raymi. As much sickness commonly followed the 
rainy season, which was now about due, the prayers and cere- 
monies were designed to prevent such evil in the land. This 
festival was particularly imposing. The huacas or sacred 
things, were brought to the temples, and the nobles and people 
assembled in the public squares for the celebration. At these 
times all deformed and diseased persons were forbidden to be 
present, for despite the extreme kindness of the Incas for the 


unfortunate, they superstitiously regarded sickness as a pun- 
ishment for some fault, and they supposed that the presence of 
the ill at this time might prevent that good fortune which they 
craved. Even the dogs were driven from Cuzco, lest their 
howling might be offensive. 

A curious ceremony was now performed by four hundred 
warriors, who were divided into groups representing the four 
provinces of the Empire and stationed East, West, North and 
South, facing the great square. After certain ceremonies in 
the Temple, the Inca, accompanied by his priests, came forth 
and exclaimed : "Oh, sickness, disasters, misfortunes and dan- 
gers, go forth from the land," when instantly the warriors ran 
with great speed toward the rivers Apurimac and Vilcamayo, 
shouting : "Go forth all evils !" Here they bathed, and the 
waters supposedly carried the evils away. At night bundles 
of straw were burned and thrown into the rivers, and so the 
evils of light and darkness were equally, destroyed. These 
ceremonies were accompanied by fasting, except for the eating 
of a porridge termed sancu a sort of sacred pudding, which 
was also smeared over their faces and upon the lintels of the 
doors. Finally this was washed away, emblematical of their 
desire to be free from personal sickness or from disease enter- 
ing their houses. It was at this festival particularly that the 
bodies of the Incas were brought out into the square from the 
Temple, where they were set up and attended by their people, 
who offered them the best of everything in the way of food 
and drink. In the evening these bodies were bathed in the 
baths which had belonged to them, and the following morn- 
ing offerings of Coca and various foods were set before them, 
and the day was concluded in feasting. Uma Raymi the 
month following this festival, was the season of brewing. 
During this month the ceremonies of knighting the youths 
took place, followed with much rejoicing. The following 
month, Ayamarca, was the period when they commemorated 
their dead, and offerings of Coca were made to the mummies 
under the supposition that wherever the soul might be it would 
be fed and sustained through this emblem of strength. 

The ceremony of knighthood was one of the most imposing 


festivals during the Incan year. It was termed Huaraca 
the sling, and was celebrated during the summer solstice upon 
the sacred hill Huanacauri, where a legend relates that a sun 
god had at one time been turned into stone. Here the cere- 
monies commenced by a prayer, offered for the perpetuation 
of manly vigor: "O Huanacauri! Our father, may the 
Creator, the Sun, and the thunder ever remain young, and 
never become old. May Thy son, the Inca, always retain his 
youth, and grant that he may prosper in all he undertakes. 
And to us, Thy sons and descendants, who now celebrate this 
festival, grant that we may ever be in the hands of the Creator, 
of the sun, of the thunder, and in Thy hands." 

The young nobles were only initiated after they had ar- 
rived at a certain age and after they had passed through a 
preliminary rigorous ordeal. This was more suggestive per- 
haps of the severity of the initiation into the Ancient Mys- 
teries than it was to the knighthood of the Middle Ages. The 
novitiates were put to very severe tests, which resulted 
literally in only the survival of the fittest. The first token 
given the applicants was a pair of breeches made from the 
fibre of the aloe. After this they were fitted for endurance 
by a severe flogging and were then given the staff, yauri, and 
usuta or sandals. They then passed a night alone in the 
desert, and the following day continued the test of endurance 
by foot races at Huaca Amahuarqui, where tradition says 
there was a Huaca that ran like a lion. The competitors were 
stimulated by the encouragement of maidens along the course, 
who offered chicha and Coca and cried "Come quickly, 
youths, for we are waiting." Those who survived the ordeal 
then met in an assault at arms, and those who were ac- 
cepted to become warriors had their ears bored by the Inca 
with a golden stylet. The orifice was kept open with cotton 
until large enough to admit the large cylindrical earrings, 
the tubular support of which was pushed through the open- 
ing in the lobe, and this method of wearing these ornaments 
caused the lobe to elongate and occasioned an appearance 
which led the Spaniards to call the Incas re j ones big ears. 
After bathing in the sacred fountain called calli-puquio the 





Knights were given a shirt of fine yellow wool, bordered with 
black embroidery and a mantle of white supayacolla. This 
cloak, which reached to the knees, was fastened about the neck 
with a knot, from which hung a woolen cord and tassel of red. 
A turban or llauta of distinguishing color was worn upon the 
head, and each Knight was now invested with the liuaraca, or 
sling, and the cliuspa, filled with Coca leaves, emblematic of 
a vigorous manhood which this would maintain. This entire 
ceremony occupied some eight days. 

Throughout the year the ashes from the various burnt of- 
ferings that had been made in the temples were saved, and at a 
ceremony during the month Camay, following the summer 
solstice, these were thrown into the river at an hour before 
sunset, together with large quantities of personal effects, Coca, 
foods, garments, and, in fact, something from everything that 
had been used, presumably as an offering to the deity in the 
great unknown to which the river flowed. To assure the carry- 
ing of this sacrifice by the waters the rivers were previously 
dammed back so they might rush with greater force when re- 
leased, and guards were stationed with torches to see that no 
part of the sacrifice was checked in passage. When all had 
been carried down the stream as far as the bridge of Ollantay- 
Tampu, two bags of Coca, termed pilculuncu pancar uncu, 
were thrown in from the bridge, and the people followed the 
sacrifice along the banks of the stream for two days. 

At the autumn equinox was held the festival of the sacred 
fire, mosoc nina, which was never permitted to die out, and 
the year was completed with the rejoicings and festivities 
commemorative of a full harvest. Sacrifices of Coca were 
made in the Temple of the Sun daily, also on various hills in 
the valley of the Vilcamayo, the method of these offerings va- 
rying; at times the leaves were thrown to the four cardinal 
points, while at others they were burnt upon the altars, both 
ceremonies being accompanied by an appropriate prayer. 

The Incans had a great reverence for their dead. Not only 
were the bodies of the sovereigns preserved, but it was cus- 
tomary for families to preserve the bodies of certain of their 
departed so that they might be seen. Food was set before 


these mummies on the occasion of all festivals, in the belief 
that wherever the soul might be it would return for this nour- 
ishment, while if appropriate food was withheld from the 
dead it would occasion disease. These bodies were termed 
mallquis or manaos, and were believed to extend a protection 
over the family, an idea not far removed from modern spirit- 

Offerings of food to the dead was a very ancient Eastern 
custom ; thus it is written that the Israelites in the wilderness 
were accused of idolatry because they ate these sacrifices. 17 
The North American Indians believe in the duality of the 
soul, one being liberated at death, the other remaining in the 
body, which must be provided for. 18 The Egyptians believed 
the tomb of their dead was inhabited by a double ka, of the 
deceased, and so an ante-chamber was always built where rela- 
tives might leave their offerings for this substance. In the 
absence of more material fare the walls of the sepulchre were 
profusely decorated with a semblance of good cheer. 19 In 
order to live in the other world, the double required a body and 
this was why the original body was preserved. In case the 
actual body was destroyed images of stone or wood were made 
to supply its place. Besides the double, there was the soul 
hi, or ba, and the klioo, which was a sort of divine spark. 
Each of these substances had to be provided for. It may have 
been some similar belief which led the early Peruvians to 
place foods and the common objects of every-day life about 
the bodies of their dead, while an element of force was as- 
sured by filling the mouth of the departed with Coca leaves. 
Even to-day the Indians of some provinces believe that if a 
dying man can appreciate the taste of Coca leaves pressed to 
his lips his soul will enter Paradise, 20 while in the graves 
where mummies have been found there is always a bountiful 
supply of Coca in the chuspa, and many little bags of Coca 
leaves are distributed over the body. 

At the death of an Inca, when, as it was said, he was 
"called home to the mansions of his father the sun," his pal- 

"1 Psalms; cvi, 28. 18 Schoolcraft; 1853. 

"Maspero; Historic Ancienne, p. 55. m Poeppig; ii. 252, 1836. 


aces were closed forever, while his estates were worked only 
sufficiently to support his immediate followers and servants, 
who continued in charge of his earthly remains, for it was 
supposed his soul would return to reanimate the body and all 
things should be left as in life ready for this reception. 21 The 
bowels of the dead sovereign were removed and buried, with 
a quantity of plate and jewels, at Tampu, five leagues from 
the capital, while the body was embalmed by some peculiar 
process which preserved it in lifelike 
appearance through centuries, and 
this, clothed in royal raiment, was set 
up in the Temple of the Sun at Cuzco. 
Posssibly it may have been a knowl- 
edge of this peculiar custom of the In- 
cas which led Philip II. to conceive 
the idea of a mausoleum, in which the 
bodies of the Spanish sovereigns 
should be petrified and set up as at the 
Palace and Monastery of San Lorenzo 
del Escorial. At the festivals in the 
public square, when the mummies of 
the Incas were brought out, it was 
customary for their followers to invite 
special guests, who enjoyed the melan- 
choly festivities with all the etiquette 
due the living monarch. 

The early Peruvians had the uni- 
versal myth of creation through the 
union of a heavenly father and an 
earthly mother, and though their 

ritual embraced many emblems, they certainly recognized 
a supreme being aside from this emblematic worship. Their 
venerated names were Con, Ilia, Tied, Uira, Cocka 22 
the Creator, Eternal Light, Spirit of the Abyss together 
with two sacred terms which record attributes, as Pachaya- 
chacliic, the teacher or regulator, and Pachacamac, the 

21 Garcilasso; 1609. 

22 Con is of unknown origin, Ilia light, Tied foundation, Uira from 
Uayra air, G'orfta lake. Markham, p. 20, 1892. 



ruler of the universe, who created man and all living 
things. They distinguished an intelligent and immaterial 
soul runa from the body which the name allpacamasca, 
designated as animated earth, and throughout all their teach- 
ings the belief is manifest that he who had well employed his 
time would at death go to hananpacha the world above to 
receive its reward ; or, if bad, he would descend to urupaclia, 
the world below. Because of the reverence the Incans had for 
their dead they respected all burial places, displaying much 
anguish at the disturbance of remains, yet the only knowl- 
edge that we have of these people has come to us through the 
constant search that is being made in the places of their in- 
terment, for antiquities and the wealth that is supposedly 
buried with their bodies. 

The Incan cloths, which' we have had opportunity of study- 
ing from the relics found in their tombs, were woven from the 
coarse llama fleece, or the fine silky wool of the vicuna, the lat- 
ter being reserved for the royal garments. The materials 
were beautifully dyed with permanent colors tastefully com- 
bined, and exquisitely woven in complicated, though tasteful, 
patterns, in which animals, warriors and the Coca plant were 
all artistically concealed in the design. The Incas excelled in 
their manufacture of pottery, which is little inferior to that of 
the Greeks. Their vases occur in every variety of form, they 
are commonly moulded into water bottles and represent 
scenes, faces, animals, vegetables; and in fact every object 
known to the early Peruvians was reproduced in this artistic 

Mr. John Getz, 23 who is an expert in ceramics, spent an 
afternoon with me in looking over a collection of these relics, 
which he pronounced wonderful in design and of very great 
age. All such antiquities are termed by the Peruvians hua- 
cas* sacred. They are commonly found buried in the 
tombs of Tncan nobles, and are much sought. The material 
red, black or cream colored, is of the terra cotta order, 

23 Chief of Decoration Exhibit Departments for the Commissioner General of 
the United States to the Paris Exposition of 1900. 

* The derivation of the term Huaca, Garcilasso says, is from the verb which 
signifies to weep. 



polished and painted in design, or again rough. The exam- 
ples which are known as portrait vases were doubtless excel- 
lent likenesses and would be creditable if they were done by 
modern artists. A keen and premeditated wit is shown in 
some of these designs, which is not merely the grotesque of in- 
experience. Many of the vases are modeled as caricatures, 
possibly depicting, in political satire, some local personage; 
others again represent various diseased conditions, as the 
small-pox, which has always been prevalent throughout Peru. 
There are others which are marked with syphilitic lesions, 
and some represent the swollen cheek and the agonized ex- 
pression of suffering from a possibly 
ulcerated tooth, while others depict 
various ceremonies. 

A curious vase in the private col- 
lection I inspected represents a rock, 
upon the top of which rests another 
rock, which seems to be capable of a 
lever movement, a possible instrument 
used in beheading victims, for .a head 
and the headless body of a man are 
shown at the base, while another fig- 
ure in a kneeling posture has his head 
bowed, as though awaiting decapita- 
tion from the fall of the small rock, 
"which is apparently being worked by 
a figure standing at the side. This may illustrate some early 
form of capital punishment, though no mention of it is made 
in any of the works which I have consulted. Another form of 
punishment is shown by a vase representing an immense cac- 
tus of a species having digestive qualities of a phenomenal 
nature. Criminals placed in this gigantic plant were sup- 
posed to be literally digested and absorbed. 

Some water bottles, that represent animals or birds, 
silvadors or whistling jugs, as they are termed, were so 
cleverly constructed that a musical note is given in imitation 
of the cry as the water is poured out. A vase depicting the 
Coca harvest is in the form of a sitting woman with Coca 

ITweddle Collection.'] 



branches and leaves around her. In many of the portrait 
vases the swollen cheek is represented as though containing 
the quid of Coca. Melons and gourds are common examples 
among these vases, as also is the llama representations of 
which were used as household gods, known as conopas. 

Some of the painted vases represent scenes illustrating 
various rites. In the Centeno collection, at Berlin, some of the 
vases are over three feet in diameter. One has a painted 
scene, representing a battle between an Incan army using 
slings and savages armed with bows and arrows. Such ex- 
amples suggest a knowledge of picture writing among the 
early Peruvians. At present 
there are many specimens of 
such pictorial work by the native 
artists, done on long strips of pa- 
per in flat tints, which, though 
crude, represent historical sto- 

[Tweddle Collection.] 


The Royal Ethnological Mu- 
seum at Berlin possesses a rich 
assortment of Peruvian antiqui- 
ties, and there are duplicates in 
the museum at Dresden, Leip- 
zig and Karlsruhe. There is an 
exhibit of huacas in the Troca- 
dero at Paris, and also in the 
British Museum, while in this country the University of 
Pennsylvania and the Peabody Museum in Chicago have each 
excellent collections. The American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, of this city, has a fine assortment of water bottles, por- 
trait vases, textile fabrics, work baskets, mummies and chus- 
pas containing the leaves of Coca just as they have been taken 
from the tomb. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art 
has also some unique specimens of household utensils made in 
pottery, as well as many additional examples of water bottles ; 
for although the specimens all resemble each other, no two are 
exactly alike, as each was presumably modeled by hand. 

There are many private collections of antiquities in Peru, 


and a few in this country. It was my good fortune to have 
had the privilege to examine at leisure and to make copies of 
the very extensive collection of Mr. Herbert Tweddle,of Plain- 
field, !N~. J., which embraces many examples of relics not com- 
monly seen. Among these is a curious tablet made of thin 
stone, upon which is engraved representations of the Incan 
warriors. It was probably worn on the royal robe. Another 
specimen representing a winged Puma head is almost a per- 
fect counterpart of the early carving of the Egyptians. It is 
cut from a very soft stone of light amber color, and, as will be 
seen, greatly resembles the Assyrian lion. It was found in 
some diggings in the Parinas Valley, where a Mr. Fowkes, an 
American, took it from an Indian grave on the La Mina Brea 
estate. There is no doubt of its genuineness as certified by 


this gentleman. With it were found three or four skeletons, 
the bones of which would indicate they were the remains of 
people about seven feet in height, with very large skulls. This 
specimen, when shown at the British Museum, was at first 
pronounced of Assyrian origin, but there are indications that 
it is distinctively Peruvian. 

The puma or pagi of the Peruvians is the lion of the 
Spanish. The Incas considered this as their most noble beast, 
and together with the condor, the king of vultures, they en- 
nobled their attributes, and many families of ancient lineage 
still bear such titles. Thus the Puma cagna or lord of the 
brave lion, Caliqui puma lord of the silver lion, Apu 
cuntur the great condor, Condor canqui condor of excel- 
lency, or master of the order. It seems proper that these at- 
tributes should be typified in a union of both the head of the 
puma and the wings of the condor. 




Thus, it will be seen, treasure-hunting in Peru is not con- 
fined to prospecting for gold and silver, but also extends to a 
seeking for the riches which were presumably buried along 
with the bodies of the Incas ; so that this much hunted race has 
not been permitted to rest in peace even in the grave. The 
tapadas or huaqueros as these relic hunters are called, consti- 
tute a class of modern adventurers. In their search for huacas 
they prod the soil with a long pole, and when a sounding indi- 
cates some underlying tomb, it is opened and the bodies are 
strewn about in search for antiquities. These burying 
grounds are often in the open desert and in the sterile soil at 
the foot of the cliffs of the valleys, which extend to the sea, 
where there are many graves of the antiguos; they are here by 
thousands and perhaps millions. Even those who do not 


make a business of this hunt repair to these places on Good 
Friday and dig as a sort of popular amusement for that holi- 
day, there being a legend that the huacas are enchanted, and 
while during all the rest of the year they are sunk so deeply in 
.the ground as to make it impossible for them to be found, on 
Good Friday they come near the surface. It is remarkable 
that, though Coca is not to-day commonly used by the Indians 
on the coast, these graves all contain Coca among their relics. 
When these old graves are opened, although there is no ap- 
parent odor, those who explore them are very apt to get a very 
severe sore throat from inhaling the vapors or impalpable dust 
into which the bodies fall as they are exposed to the air. It 
has been long a custom to fortify against this condition by the 
use of Coca, thus illustrating the intuitive adaptation of a 



Q U \\ < 

W w- - e 


native remedy empirically ,.which it has required long years of 
study to since apply in a scientific way in the treatment of 
throat troubles. 

Some of the relics that are taken out of these graves are 
worn as charms by the Indians. There is a supposition that 
many races may have been buried in these localities, as often 
the graves are situated directly over others of apparently dif- 
ferent peoples. As a rule the bodies and their wrappings are 
well preserved, and it has been questioned whether this 
preservation is due to some. process of embalming, or whether 

>>f\ frih t^SS 



it is simply the result of the natron soil and extreme dryness. 
Various methods were followed in preparing the body for the 
grave. A child was usually wrapped in a coarse shroud, pos- 
sibly a string of beads about the neck, with a little stick or 
plaything near at hand. Adults were usually buried in a 
squatting position, the head resting on the knees, the arms 
folded or supporting the head. Thus they were returned to 
Mother Earth in a position similar to that prior to their 
birth. 24 The body of the dead was covered with many wrap- 
pings grave cloths of beautiful texture and exquisite color- 
ing. About the mummy might be placed several pieces of 
pottery containing Coca or maize intended either to nourish 
the departed on his long journey or be ready for support on 
return. Near at hand were placed the implements and arms ; 
and in the case of the women, the household utensils, spin- 
ning appliances, and the work basket filled ready for use. 
Commonly there were bags of netting containing a supply of 
wearing apparel. The fancy pieces of pottery are usually 
found at the head of the grave, where are also found the little 
woven tablets designed to keep off evil spirits. 

When the wrappings of the mummy are removed, the body 
may not only be found well preserved, but often the flesh has 
a lifelike appearance. Great care seems to have been taken to 
wrap the bodies in the richest possible garments, so that these 
tombs are veritable mines of antiquities. The head of the 
mummy is commonly wound with a fancy turban, and the 
body is bound with a white tunic, elaborately embroidered 
with flowers and figures. The wrappings of the men are 
usually the richer, those of the women being more simple, but 
the bodies of men and women alike are found adorned with 
necklaces and bracelets. Although all the Indian women of 
to-day weave and spin, their work in no case equals that of the 
ancient relics found in these graves, while the antique imple- 
ments are all of far superior finish to those of the pres- 
ent time. The orqueta, a crotched stick upon which is held 
the copo or ball of material for spinning, is usually to- 
day a natural fork cut from some tree for this purpose, but 

"Wilson; 1876. 


those which are found in the tombs are cut from solid wood 
beautifully carved, inlaid and polished. The modern Indian 
women are in the habit of plaiting thick skeins of brown cot- 
ton into braids with their hair to prevent the ends from split- 
ting, and a similar custom is shown by these examples to have 
been followed by the ancients. In some of the bodies of 
women the lower lip has been pierced and a silver cylinder 
about the size of a thimble has been inserted. The crown of 
this is usually set with a bloodstone, surrounding which are 
small pieces of coral, executed with a delicacy of workmanship 
which would be creditable to a modern jeweler. 25 

Unlike the Egyptian mummies, those of the Peruvians 
do not represent the exact position of the body. They are 
commonly in huge square bundles, much resembling a bale of 
goods were it not for a headlike appearance on the top. These 
heads are attached to the exterior wrappings, the eyes, nose, 
lips and ears being fastened to the bundle in representation of 
a face. Often these entire bales are bound with a netting of 
plaited rope, two pieces of which are apparently left to lower 
the mummy into the grave. Some such packs have been found 
that are five feet high. On the shoulders, breast and back 
there are commonly a number of little pouches fastened to- 
gether, filled with Coca leaves, while strings of such bags are 
often found in the tombs. Some of these mummies are found 
in the graves alone ; in other cases there are several buried to- 
gether. In some instances a large earthen vessel like a 
chicha jar, with the mouth broken off, is inverted over the 
mummy pack, evidently as a protection from the weight of 
earth above. 

One of the largest collections of mummies was found along 
"the coast, in the region of the Bay of Ancon, twenty-four miles 
to the north of Callao, where extensive excavations were made 
by Reiss and Stiibel during 1874 and 1875. The result of 
this research has been exhaustively set forth in the magnificent 
work published by these authors in Berlin. They supposed 
the remains found to be of varying periods, some recent, 
others dating back for hundreds of years. 26 Some of the 

26 Scott; La Goya, also person, com., 1899. Reiss and Stiibel; 1880. 


bodies they unearthed w r ere tattooed, a custom which was not 
prevalent among the Incans. 

In the heights of the Western Andes there are many oven- 
like graves of adobe, and in the Sierra there are numerous 
graves found covered with huge piles of stone, some square, 
others oval. It is supposed that these monuments mark the 
resting places of important individuals or heads of families, 
while the graves of ordinary personages were either in rows 
or semi-circles, or in terraces on the mountains. Many of 
these stone piles are similar to the dolmans and cromlechs 
which may be found all over Northern Europe. They are of 

[Richard Payne Kniyht.] 

every variety in shape and have existed from prehistoric ages. 
Carnac in Brittany, Rutzlingen in Hanover, Stonehenge and 
Aubry in England, the stones at Orkney and at Lewis in 
Scotland, are but a few examples of such stone piles, which, 
if not belonging to one period, doubtless belonged to one form 
of worship. Many of these are sepulchral enclosures sur- 
rounding tumuli or uncovered cromlechs, and several mark 
the confines of what are termed giants' graves. These Druidi- 
cal temples were similar to the Greek and Persian stone cir- 
cles, in the centre of which was kindled the sacred fire. 
Along the Mississippi Valley, from the Great Lakes to the 
Gulf of Mexico, there are numerous works of stone and 
earth mounds, some of which cover several acres. Like 
the remains already cited, these are supposed to be thou- 


sands of years old. In the Titicaca region there are a 
great number of these stone monuments, which are known as 
cliulpas. In some cases these are round, while other examples 
are square, in either instance looking like huge, squatty chim- 
neys or the air shafts over an aqueduct. The tops are com- 
monly larger than the base, extending mushroom-like beyond 
the sides and picturesquely overgrown with a confusion of 
mosses and vines. The interiors are usually of rough stone 
laid in clay and faced with hewn blocks of limestone, the size 
of the structure varying from ten to twenty feet in diameter, 
and from twelve to twenty-four feet high. The bodies in these 
tombs are usually found sewn in llama skins, upon which are 
pictured human features. Over this skin there are commonly 
wrappings, but differing from those of the mummies found 
along the coast. 

The early Peruvians had a peculiar reverence for stones, 
and many of their legends refer to them. One tradition de- 
scribes Viracocha as having endowed certain stones with life, 
from which were made the first man and woman. This is 
suggestive of a tale in Grecian mythology, when Deucalion 
and Pyrrha the sole people left after the deluge, repeopled 
the earth by throwing behind their backs "the bones of their 
mother," which was interpreted to mean stones. So the stones 
thrown by the man took the shape of men, and those thrown 
by his wife became women. 27 The small round stones, which 
the Incas supposed to come from the thunderbolts, were said 
to have the property of producing fertility, and were regarded 
as love philters of remarkable efficacy. Throughout South 
America, between the 2 and 4 north latitude, there are thou- 
sands of rocks covered with symbolic representations, colossal 
figures of crocodiles, tigers and signs of the sun and moon 
possibly of different epochs. 28 Higgins 29 considers the ex- 
amples of single unwrought stones to be emblems of genera- 
tion. The Incans used to set up these single stone pyramids 
in their fields as protectors of their crops, and offerings were 
made to these as emblems if not to propitiate a supposed 

27 Ovid; Metamorphosis, Fable x. Book i. 
^Humboldt; Ansichten der Natur. * Celtic Druids. 


spirit inhabiting them, as a mark of reverence or thanksgiv- 
ing for guardianship. This practice is still continued, and it 
is in this spirit that Coca is commonly offered to such stones, 
because as that leaf is a prized object the Indian manifests his 
reverence in thus presenting something that is dear to him. 
Viewed in this light, such an action would seem no more 
idolatrous than for a Christian people to lay flowers on the 
tomb of their revered. 

Among some specimens found among Incan relics are cu- 
rious examples of trephined skulls. It is not known under 
what conditions this operation was performed, as similar ex- 
amples have been found in various parts of the globe, and it 
would seem remarkable if these are merely accidental. Some 
of these skulls indicate that the subject had long survived the 
operation, while others appear to have been done after death. 
It has been questioned whether this operation was performed 
as a religious rite a possible ordeal of initiation, or merely to 
make an opening to permit the imprisoned soul to escape from 
the dead body. 30 

At present the practice of trephining is continued among 
the Negritos of Papua and the natives of Australia, as well as 
in some of the South Sea Islands, where the operation is per- 
formed by scraping with a flint or shark's tooth, or with a 
piece of broken glass. Such trephining is said to have been so 
common with these latter people in early times that a majority 
of the male adults appear to have been subjected to it. An 
army surgeon travelling in Montenegro a few years ago said it 
was no rare thing to meet men who had been subjected to this 
operation seven, eight or even nine times. 31 Among the 
Kabyles, at the foot of Mt. Anres, on the south of the Atlas, 
the operation is performed as a religious rite by the thebibes, 
or priests. 

It is very probable that the early operations for trephining 
were first performed on the dead subjects with a view to obtain 
some mystical trophy as an amulet, which might represent 
some quality of the deceased. From this there was but an 
easy transition to the living, the operation being in the nature 

3 Broca; 1868. "Fletcher; 1882. Nadaillac; 1885. 




of an ordeal, from which may be traced the development of the 
conservative methods of modern surgery. 

It is supposed that the Incans had too strong a reverence 
for their dead to permit any mutilation for the sake of obtain- 
ing amulets. This is proven by the fact that no such frag- 
ments have been found. Dr. Muniz, 32 formerly Surgeon- 
General of the Army of Peru, a few years since made an ex- 
tensive collection of crania from Incan graves, mostly in the 
environs of Lima. Among one thousand specimens there 
were nineteen trephined skulls, some of which bear evidence 
of several distinct operations on different parts of the cranium 
at different periods. The percentage of trephined skulls to 
all crania found would indicate ratio frequency of this oper- 
ative procedure higher than that of a modern military hospi- 
tal. These specimens of primitive trephining, which have 
been examined and discussed by many learned societies, are 
preserved by the Bureau of American Ethnology in the 
United States National Museum, at Washington, excepting 
one skull showing a triple trephining, which has been 
placed at the United States Army Museum. 

On the preceding page two views are given of a skull 
from jt mummified body of a subject that did not survive the 
operation, but so perfect is the specimen even the faintest 
scratches of the operation being visible that it will serve as 
an indication of the method. The opening on the outer sur- 
face measures 17 by 22 mm., the dimensions being about 2| 
mm. less in either dimension on the inner surface, the rectan- 
gular button having been cut by two pairs of parallel 
V-shaped incisions crossing at right angles. All four of the 
cuts penetrated both tables of the skull, while the transverse 
'ones appear to have been deep enough to have wounded the in- 
tra-cranial tissues, probably causing death. The nature of the 
cuts indicate that the incision was done by a saw-like motion, 
accompanied with considerable pressure, the button being re- 
moved by an elevator, used lever fashion. This skull also 
shows wounds partly obliterated by reparative process. In 
some cases the rough edges of the opening have been scraped. 

S2 Muniz and McGee; 1897. 



It was while the Incan Empire was at the height of its 
greatness that Huayna Ccapac, the twelfth Inca, after having 
governed for half a century, filled full of years and honors, 
retired to his favorite province at Quito, where he expected to 
spend his remaining days in peace. Realizing that the end 
of his career was approaching, and considering the vastness of 
his dominions, he determined to divide his kingdom between 
Huascar, his son by his lawful wife, and Atahualpa, the child 
of his favorite concubine. Just seven years prior to the Con- 
quest this most mighty monarch of the line of Incas died. 

The sad dissension between the two brothers, which was 
.occasioned by this division of the Empire, and the unfortu- 
nate events which quickly follow to bring an end to this 
remarkable dynasty are told hereafter. 

f-^v^ ^.^^% ^^^^j^^^^^^I^^^^^i^'^'^s^ 



mam*/:. , W^. 



"So flits the world's uncertain span! 
Nor zeal for God, nor love for man, 
Gives mortal monuments a date 
Beyond the power of Time and Fate." 

Scott, Rokeby, vi., i. 

before the discovery of Peru by the 
Spanish the Incas had so extended their 
empire that it reached from Chile in the 
south to Quito in the north. There was 
but one incentive to prompt this discovery, 
and that was gold. Indeed, gold was not 
only the beacon blazing from afar, but the 
shibboleth which led Francisco Pizarro on 
his voyage of conquest to the western 
shores of South America. Before this sordid search all else 
must perish ; no sacrifice be too great, no device too flagrant, 
no torture too cruel to drag forth supposed secrets of hidden 
riches. The illegitimate son of a Colonel in the King's Guard, 
born in the town of Truxillo, in Spain, 1 and left a foundling, 

1 The date of Pizarro's birth is not positive; Prescott gives it as about 1471. 



he is said to have rivaled Romulus by imbibing his early 
nutrition from a sow. 2 Grown to man's estate, uneducated 
save in the force of arms, he first appears in the history of the 
KVw World in 1509 in an expedition with Alonzo de Ojeda, 
who had been a companion of Columbus.- Subsequently under 
Balboa he assisted in the establishment of the Spanish colony 
at Darien. Still later he was with Pedrarias, who founded 
Panama in 1519 and not unlike other foreign examples who 
readily fall into political preferment in the land of their adop- 
tion he soon became a factor in the new city. 

Rumors of fabulous wealth in some unknown country 
below the Isthmus had already floated toward this Spanish 
settlement, and proved a sufficient incentive to excite the 
roving nature of this adventurer into restlessness. Seeking 
means to further his purpose, Pizarro formed a partnership 
with two kindred spirits, Father Hernando de Luque, in be- 
half of the Licentiate Espinosa, and Diego de Almagro, the 
latter, like himself, an uneducated man, but a gallant soldier. 
Fitted out by this triumvirate, the first expedition sailed South 
in November, 1524, in two vessels, with a meagre crew of vol- 
unteers. One vessel was commanded by Pizarro, while the 
other, in charge of Almagro, was to follow with supplies. The 
expedition touched along the northern coast of South America, 
and met with an unexpected opposition from the natives, with 
whom the adventurers could not cope because of inadequate 
force. After suffering from privation, and discouraged by the 
dreary aspect of the country, the Spaniards wished to return 
to Panama ; but Pizarro, made of sterner stuff, endeavored to 
stimulate his men by indicating the treasures that were in store 
for them. When their sufferings had reached almost direful 
straits the first part of the expedition was joined by Almagro 
with some sixty or seventy men. The two commanders, while 
appreciating the hardships before them for Almagro had 
also suffered by encounter with the natives, and had lost an 
eye were yet so encouraged by their discoveries that they 
pledged themselves to die rather than abandon their under- 
taking. But in view of the formidable nature of their enter- 

2 Gomara; cap. 144; 1749. 


prise they thought it better to seek assistance from the gov- 
ernment of Panama. At first the governor was not inclined 
to listen to what he considered the scheme of two rash ad- 
venturers, but through the plea of Father Luque, Almagro was 
permitted to solicit additional volunteers for the expedition. 
The seriousness of their prodigious undertaking was now 
sealed by a solemn compact made between the three in which 
religion as the inspiring force, and plunder as the objective 
point, were commingled concerning an empire the situation 
and resources of which the plotters did not even know. Thus 
cloaked in a sincerity of religion, and with the sanction of 
the church, the cross was to be borne over this new land, and 
scathing and consuming as may have been the progress of this 
sign of man's salvation, it was to be enforced as the only sign 
by which generations yet unborn were to be rescued from 
perdition. 3 

It was not easy to raise a force for this second expedition, 
in spite of funds and the brilliant prospects of the enthusiasts ; 
but finally two vessels set sail, each in command of one of the 
leaders and 'under pilotage of Bartholomew Ruiz, who was 
experienced in the southern ocean. After an uneventful 
voyage a landing was effected at a point somewhere on the 
coast of what is at present Colombia, where Pizarro and some 
of the men disembarked, and Almagro returned to Panama for 
supplies, while the other vessel under Ruiz continued south 
to explore the coast. This vessel soon fell in with one of the 
native raft-like boats, since known as balsas,, which with a 
small crew displayed a rich cargo in full and tempting view 
upon the elevated platform raised above the deck. Here at 
last was a visible indication of the wealth for which the 
Spaniards had so long been in search. By friendly signs, and 
through cunningly entertaining the navigators of this novel 
craft, Ruiz was enabled to induce two of the people to return 
with him to Pizarro. His coming was none too soon, for the 
little band which had remained on shore was in sore distress 
and heartily discouraged from sickness and privation, and 

when Almagro arrived shortly after, the ardor of the adven- 


'Prescott: Vol. I, p. 238; 1848. 



IXCAX SLIXUS. [Reisa and Stiibcl.l 


turers had so cooled that all save the commanders were eager 
to return to Panama. Now, too, that the leaders of the expe- 
dition had learned from the natives of the land governed by a 
divine race termed Incas descendants from the sun and of 
the fabulous wealth throughout their vast domains, they rea- 
lized how hopeless would be the attempt to conquer such a 
country with their small force. As a result of their consulta- 
tion it was determined to dispatch Almagro again to Panama 
with such slight trophies as they might now return, to solicit 
sufficient forces to complete a conquest. But when the dissatis- 


fied men learned of this proposed venture, and that there was a 
prospect of long suffering for those left in this desolate land, 
they concealed a letter of protest in a ball of cotton which was 
to be taken to the governor's wife as a specimen of the products 
of this New World. This letter concluded with a doggerel 
verse, which accused one of the leaders of driving in recruits 
like cattle to be butchered by the rashness of the other : 

"Look out, Senor, Governor, 

For the drover while he's near; 
Soon he goes to get the sheep 
For the butcher who stays here." 



Pizarro, in order to check all possibility of flight, soon after 
Almagro's sailing despatched the other vessel with some few 
malcontents. Those who were left experienced the extremes of 
suffering from privation, and when two vessels arrived from 
Panama with an officer of the governor to bring back the 
Spaniards, all were ready to desert Pizarro except some few 
gallant followers, who remained as the first heroes of this his- 
toric expedition. Pizarro received letters from Almagro and 
Father Luque beseeching him not to despair, and promising 
their continued aid. This faint encouragement was sufficient 
for so plucky an adventurer, and drawing his sword he 
marked a line on the sands and assured his comrades that on 
one side was toil, hunger, nakedness, drenching storm, de- 
sertion and death on the other ease and pleasure. On the 
one side was Peru with its riches, on the other Panama and its 
poverty. "Choose each man what best becomes a brave Cas- 
tilian. For my part, I go to the south." And he stepped 
across the line, being followed by "Ruiz, Cristoval de Peralta, 
Pedro de Candia, Domingo de Soria Luce, Kicolas de Ribera, 
Francisco de Cuellar, Alonso de Molina, Pedro Alcon, Garcia 
de Jerez, Anton de Carrion, Alonso Briceiio, Martin de Paz, 
and Joan de la Torre." 4 But the governor's messenger re- 
fused to acknowledge such rashness, and barely consenting to 
leave some scanty provisions, sailed for Panama, accompanied 
by Ruiz, who returned in order to co-operate with Almagro 
and Father Luque. Their conjoined remonstrances, and pro- 
tests that the expedition was for the benefit of the crown, 
finally induced the governor to consent that a small vessel 
should be fitted out for relief. 

Meanwhile Pizarro was encamped with his meagre band 
upon the Island of Gorgona, off the northwest coast of Peru, 
and here they remained for seven months, and even continued 
their discoveries by means of a raft which they constructed, 
a form of navigation they were quite ready to abandon on the 
arrival of the new vessel. Thus favorably equipped, they at 
once set sail for the south, and after twenty days dropped 
anchor at the Island of Santa Clara, in the Bay of Tumbez. 

Prescott; Vol. I, p. 261; 1848. 


Tumbez was then next to Quito, the most important city on the 
northern border of the Incan empire, and here the first ex- 
change of visits took place between the officers of the expedi- 
tion and some Incan inspectors, who ever on the alert to report 
to their sovereign the doings of each province, manifested a 
desire, through many courtesies, of learning the particulars 
of so mysterious a visitor to their waters. They offered fruit 
and game, and presented a llama, which the Spaniards termed 


"a little camel." Emboldened by these peaceful overtures, 
Pizarro continued down the coast as far as Santa, being every- 
where cordially received and lavishly entertained by the 
natives, for hospitality was one of the first tenets of the social 
system of the Incas. 

After an absence of eighteen months the commander was 
prevailed upon to return to Panama and report the result of 
his discoveries, which lie was inclined to do in order to perfect 


plans which might enable him to conquer this vast territory. 
Two native boys were taken with him, and one of the Span- 
iards, at his own request, was permitted to remain at Tumbez, 
so that an interchange of language might add to the success of 
a return venture. Arrived at Panama, Pizarro excited the 
greatest interest as the result of his prospecting. The gover- 
nor, however, refused to take the sole responsibility for so 
stupendous an undertaking, and it was determined that the 
success of the enterprise required the sanction, if not the co- 
operation, of the Spanish court. To assure this it was deemed 
advisable that Pizarro should personally explain his plan to 
the King, and he was despatched to the mother country to 
solicit the royal protection and aid. 

So earnest were his representations, and so favorable were 
the gifts which he had taken as exhibits of the new land, that 
in July, 1529, permission was granted Pizarro to raise a 
force of not less than two hundred and fifty men with which 
he was to conquer this wonderful country for his king. Here 
the natives were to be converted and the true church estab- 
lished, provided a fifth of all the gold found in this new world 
should be sent as an allegiance to the crown for this royal 
privilege. To emphasize this favor Pizarro was permitted 
an important addition to his paternal escutcheon, was decor- 
ated with the red cross of Santiago, and appointed Governor 
and Captain-General over the new country in prospective. Al- 
magro was created commander of the fortress at Tumbez, and 
Father Luque was made bishop of that same place, which he 
was never destined to see ; Ruiz was given the title of Grand 
Pilot of the Southern Ocean, while the gallant band who had 
remained loyal to their leader u%der the privations of the 
expedition were made "gentlemen of coat armor." 

These facts may seem a trifle dry, but as they form the 
framework the anatomical basis upon which subsequent 
events were shaped, perhaps their brief relation may not seem 
inopportune. For these invaders did not simply overthrow 
the existing government and permit native customs to con- 
tinue under a new control, but they attempted to annihilate 
not only the people but their customs and traditions. That 


there has remained any historical data must demonstrate the 
firm establishment of this former empire, an endurance that 
is further displayed by the survival of those native products 
the use of which is now enjoyed throughout the world, promi- 
nent among which is Coca so intimately associated with the 
Incan race. 

Under royal approval and with a small grant of money 
from the crown, Pizzaro having enlisted his four brothers, 
made preparations to depart from Spain. Although he had 
not secured a full complement of men, he hurriedly sailed 
from Seville, January, 1530, for Panama, where after a con- 
sultation with his associates the final preparations for his ex- 
pedition were completed. Church and State went so inti- 
mately hand in hand in those days that when in the following 
year the temporal plans had been got in readiness, the ban- 
ners w r ere blessed, the men were consecrated to their work 
against the infidel, and the expedition, which now consisted 
of three ships, sailed with some one hundred and eighty- 
five men and twenty-seven horses. After thirteen days a 
port was made in the most northern province of Peru, where 
the troops were landed with orders to march south, while 
the vessels continued on a parallel course with them. Force 
of arms was now openly resorted to, the smaller coast vil- 
lages being successively overcome, and the captured wealth 
at once despatched to Panama as the first fruits of an as- 
sured success and an indication of the fabulous treasures 
which might be expected to follow. It w r as not long be- 
fore Pizarro learned of the dissension between the brothers 
Huascar and Atahualpa, and the weakened government oc- 
casioned by this scission.4 His own forces having been 
strengthened by an arrival of volunteers from Panama, he 
determined in some way to shape this opportunity to his ad- 

In November, 1532, hearing that Atahualpa, with his 
army, was in the neighboring mountains, Pizarro crossed the 
desert of Sechura, and a sort of triumphal march was con- 
tinued toward the interior directly to the Inca's camp. As his 
troops passed on, the natives were baptized into the church, 


and assumed solemn vows which they could not understand, 
but it was sufficient that they had accepted the faith. Atahu- 
alpa learning of Pizarro's approach presumably supposed 
that so small a body could only be coming upon friendly terms 
so sent a messenger with greetings to inform him that the 
Inca would on the following day visit him in person. In the 
meantime the freedom of Caxamarca was extended to the in- 
vaders, and the use of the public buildings was offered for the 

Pizarro concealed his forces while awaiting the sovereign, 
who was borne in great state upon the royal litter. He was 
clothed in Incan splendor, a chuspa of Coca hung at his side, 
golden sandals were upon his feet, and his head bore the stately 
insignia of power the llauta and borla of scarlet fringe, with 
the royal feathers of the sacred bird. He was accompanied 
by a numerous retinue of nobles of his court and thousands of 
followers. Friar Vicente de Valverde, the ecclesiastical head 
of the Spaniards, acted as spokesman, and explained through 
his interpreters that their little band had visited this far-off 
land for the sake of establishing the true religion and convert- 
ing the natives. He beseeched the Inca to at once acknowl- 
edge the faith and allegiance to the king, Charles the Fifth. 
Authority for all this he attempted to show in a Bible which 
he offered to Atahualpa, but the latter, saying he recognized 
no other king than himself, indignantly threw the book to the 
ground, which the vengeful friar seemed to recognize as an 
affront sufficient to provoke hostilities, for he shouted, "Fall 
on ! I absolve you," when at once the most terrible onslaught 
upon the unsuspecting Incas was commenced. The Spanish 
officers being mounted, were enabled to do some frightful 
work, while the troops, armed with death-dealing arquebuses, 
literally vomited fire upon the natives, who were massacred by 
thousands, 5 while not one of the invading party was injured 
save Pizarro, who received a slight wound from his own men 
while shielding the Inca, who was taken prisoner. The mon- 
arch was at first treated with courtesy, and permitted to retain 
his people about him. Pizarro, ever awake to some politic 

5 Ten thousand, Garcilasso said; Pizarro's secretary said two thousand. 


move, hinted upon the advisability of adjusting the affairs 
of the brothers amicably, but the imprisoned chief, not realiz- 
ing his own danger, became alarmed at such a suggestion, and 
secretly despatched orders to assassinate Huascar, who was 
then a prisoner in Atahualpa's army. Nor had his brother 
received very courteous treatment at the hands of the rival 
forces, for they put a rope around his neck and called him 
Coca hachu Coca chewer besides offering him many other 
affronts, while they gave him Chillca Bacchaus scandeus 
leaves to eat instead of Coca. This so outraged Huascar that 
he raised his eyes to heaven and cried : "O Lord and Creator, 
how is it possible ? Why hast thou sent me these burdens and 
troubles ?" 6 

Now commenced the downfall of the Empire of the Incas. 
Atahualpa, chafing under restraint, suggested paying for his 
ransom with as much gold as the room in which he was im- 
prisoned would hold; and as that space was seventeen feet 
broad by twenty-two feet long, and was to be filled to a height 
of nine feet, the Spaniards were only too ready to agree to his 
proposition. But even their most sordid expectations had not 
pictured the vast store of riches which, at the command of the 
Inca, was at once brought to them from all sections of the 
country. It literally poured in a golden stream of vases, ves- 
sels, utensils, ornaments, the golden Coca shrubs from the 
temples, immense plaques, and golden animals, and statues of 
life-size, and in nuggets and golden dust. All this did not 
seem enough to satisfy the greed of the conqueror, who de- 
termined to expedite matters by seeking the source of this 
golden supply for himself. Instead of freeing Atahualpa, 
who had shown too keen a wit to be permitted at liberty, it 
was decided to make away with him. He was charged with the 
murder of his brother, and after a hasty trial was condemned 
to death. In August, 1533, after receiving the last rites of 
the Church, lie was executed in the square of Caxamarca by 
the garrotc, as a distinctive torture to being burned alive in 
consideration for his having at the last moment submitted 
to baptism. The following clay, amidst the most impres- 

8 Ondegardo; 1560. 



03 X 


sive solemnity, the service for the dead being performed 
by Father Valverde, the body of the Incan sovereign was 
buried, Pizarro and his principal cavaliers assuming mourn- 
ing as hypocritical emblems of their grief at the loss of this 
mighty lord. The greatest lawlessness now commenced, and 
booty was free among the Spaniards. Villages were destroyed, 
houses were ransacked, and the gorgeous temples and palaces 
were plundered. 

Pizarro advanced rapidly to Cuzco, but little of its golden 
splendor was now left. The cupidity of the invaders had 
over-leaped itself, for as the Peruvians saw that the sole desire 
of the Spanish was for gold, they secreted the beautifully 
wrought golden emblems of Coca and other elaborate workings 
of the precious metal, together with the sacred vessels and the 
venerated bodies of the Incas which had been set up in the 
Temple of the Sun. From that day to this these treasures 
have never been fully recovered, although some years later 
Polo Ondegardo, while Corregidor of Cuzco, found five 
mummies in a tomb in the mountains, three of them men and 
two women. These were said to be the bodies of the Incas 
Viracocha, Tupac Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Ccapac, to- 
gether with Mama Runtu, the queen of the first named, and 
Ccoya Mama Ocllo, mother of the last. Each of the bodies 
was well preserved, even the hair with the eyebrows and lashes 
remaining, while the peculiar wrappings and the sacred llauta 
about the forehead, betokened their rank. These bodies were 
conveyed to Lima, where they were buried with appropriate 
rites in the courtyard of the hospital of San Andres. 

When the first vast treasure of capture was divided among 
the officers and followers of the conquerors, each of the invad- 
ers was allotted a fortune, and Hernando Pi/arro was des- 
patched to Spain with the royal fifth. The amount taken to 
the Crown proved sufficient to establish this new country in 
the name,of the king, who magnanimously divided it into New 
Castile in the north, which was assigned to Pizarro, and New 
Toledo south of that, which was given to the control of Al- 
magro. So gloated were the Spaniards with their newly ac- 
quired riches that the most ordinary commodities were paid 


for in fabulous sums, and many anecdotes are related of this 
prodigality of wealth. The men fell into riotous living, spent 
their days in lawlessness and their nights in gambling, the 
stakes at these bouts often being for whole fortunes. In one 
of these orgies the massive emblem of the Sun, taken from the 
Temple at Cuzco, was staked and lost at a single throw by the 
cavalier to whom it had fallen in the division of the spoils, 
from which an after allusion of arrant profligacy was referred 
to as : "He gambles away the sun in a night." 7 

It is recorded that when Atahualpa was imprisoned one of 
the priests wrote the name of God at his request upon the In- 
ca's finger nail. This he showed to several of the guards, who, 
upon their pronouncing the name correctly, it excited his ad- 
miration and astonishment that characters so unintelligible to 
him could be read by the Spaniards. On showing the name 
to Pizarro who could neither read nor write he remained 
silent, and by thus displaying his ignorance provoked a con- 
tempt which his prisoner could not well conceal. It has been 
asserted that it was through pique at this incident that deter- 
mined an apprgval to the Inca's death. 

The Empire of the Incas being now without a chief, fell 
into confusion, and the governors of the several provinces each 
set up an independence, which Pizarro was quick to appreciate 
would be more difficult to overthrow than to conquer the coun- 
try under one revered ruler whom he might influence through 
stratagem. lie therefore determined to install Manco, the 
legitimate brother of Huascar, who had already placed himself 
under his protection, and he was established as the successor 
and sovereign Inca amidst all the ancient splendor and formal- 
ity that such an occasion might demand. So much harmony 
had been occasioned by this shrewd course that it now seemed 
as though the whole country might proclaim allegiance to 
Pizarro' s guardianship, but the avarice of the invaders had not 
yet been appeased by the gold they had received. Their per- 
sistent search for treasure, which did not respect even the 
sacred buildings and palaces, proved to the Indians the new 
religion was not one of peace, but rather suggested they were 

el Sol antes que amanezca; Garcilasso; 1609. 


to be reduced from their former freedom and happy state to 
become the mere slaves of a body of tyrants. A succession of 
internal wars now commenced, and the Incas, led by Manco, 
took a final stand at Cuzco, which they battled so nobly to 
defend that for a time it seemed the Spaniards must be routed, 
but the ultimate result was the complete overthrow of the 
Incan Empire, and Manco, chagrined and humiliated by his 
defeat, escaped to the mountains near Vilcabamba, where he 
maintained a sort of regal independence with a few loyal fol- 
lowers, until his death in 1544. After the overthrow of Cuzco, 
Pizarro, desiring a location near the coast in easier communi- 
cation with Panama, established the seat of his government on 

PIZZAERO'S MARK. [El Marq Pizarro.} 
The name written by his secretary, the flourish by Pizarro. 

the river Rimac, and the new capital was named Ciudad de 
Los Reyes City of the Kings in honor of the sovereigns of 
Spain, the modern name, Lima, being a corruption of Rimac. 

And here the conqueror, enthroned in power, took to him 
Anas, the daughter of Atahualpa, by whom he had a son 
Francisco, who became a schoolmate of the Incan historian, 
Garcilasso de la Vega, but died young in Spain. As though 
to unite his name more profoundly with the Incan race, Pi- 
zarro took also the sister of Huascar, who bore him two chil- 
dren, a son, who died young, and a daughter, Francisca, who 
in after years married his brother, Hernando, in Spain. As 
if by marriage and intermarriage the invaders might atone 
for the destruction of a mighty race. 

But let us see how fared the partners and adventurous 
companions of the conqueror. Father Luque never enjoyed 
the fruits of the success of his partners, for he died a few 
months after the final expedition started from Panama ; while 


Juan Pizarro was killed when the Incas, under Manco, be- 
sieged Cuzco in 1536, in defense of which the several brothers 
were engaged. Almagro, who early fell into dissension with 
Francisco, was executed in Cuzco at the command of Her- 
nando Pizarro in July, 1538 ; and so a bitter feud was origi- 
nated between the people of Chile, who were followers of Al- 
magro, and the people of iSTorthern Peru, who were followers 
of the Pizarros which almost rivaled the stories of the Corsi- 
can vendetta. It was not long after this that Francisco Pi- 
zarro was cruelly assassinated while dining with some friends 
by the cohorts of Chile, while his brother, Hernando, who had 
sought refuge in Spain, was imprisoned for twenty years on 
account of his execution of Almagro. After Francisco's death 
his brother, Gonzalo, placed himself at the head of a faction 
and assumed government, although the Crown had already 
sent a commissioner to take charge of Peruvian affairs. As 
a result of the rebellion which followed, Gonzalo was behead- 
ed at Cuzco, in 1548, and Valverde, who had been the ritual- 
istic light of the conquerors, was killed by the islanders of 

It seems incredible how so mighty an empire could be de- 
stroyed so that the landmarks even were almost obliterated. 
But the solution of this is found not so much in the valor of 
the Spaniards as in the utter demoralization of the Peruvians 
through a succession of reverses. The Incans, while at first 
confounded by the division of their country under two heads, 
became almost helpless when the final loss of the leaders of 
both sections occurred, for they had been educated for hun- 
dreds of years to look upon their sovereign as divine and all- 
powerful. With the downfall of the Peruvians, Spain's inter- 
est in the new country was stimulated to excitement by the 
vast wealth which she had received and the still greater riches 
that had been reported. There, too, was the hope of finding 
El Dorado, that mythical city which existed somewhere in the 
interior of the country, where the streets were paved with gold 
and where the native king was every morning powdered with 
gold dust. This all seemed so great a treasure that the Crown 
determined to assume direct control by the appointment of a 




this form of gov- 
ernment was in- 
stituted, and 
from this period 
commenced the 
persecution and oppression of 
the conquered Indians until they 
were reduced to abject slaves. In- 
numerable edicts were issued con- 
cerning them, and their government 
seemed to form a prominent plank 
in the political platform to influence 
the legislation of that day. In fact 
the privileges of the Indians between good and bad 
fluctuated in accordance with the whims or aspirations of 
the party in power. At one time the fact that the conquerors 
were deprived by edict from the personal service of the na- 
tives as slaves occasioned a rebellion, while for years the In- 
dians were a source of perpetual warfare, of which they re- 
mained the innocent victims, their peaceable disposition not 
even being awakened to an uprising such as their ill treatment 
might have well provoked, yet kept them constantly sus- 
picious. In the year 1560 it was supposed by the Indians 
that an ointment made from their bodies had been sent for 
from Spain to cure a certain disease for which there was no 
other remedy. This belief made these people very shy of the 
Spaniards at that time, fearing that they might be taken in 
and boiled down into this necessary unguent. 8 A succession 
of dread as a result of abuse and oppression resulted in a stolid 
hatred directed not only against the Spanish but toward 
all white persons, that is still manifest through the reticence 
of the Peruvian Indians of to-day. 

8 Molina; 1570. 


It was during this long period of oppression that Coca was 
attacked because it was so esteemed by the Indians, and numer- 
ous edicts were issued by both Church and State forbidding its 
use and even seeking to exterminate the plant. Particularly 
was this so under the rule of Francisco de Toledo, the fifth 
viceroy, a man devoted to his sovereign, but narrow-minded 
and unsympathetic. During his rule there were some seventy 
ordenanzes issued concerning Coca. After his appointment 
in 1569 he made a tour through the country to determine the 
exact condition of affairs, and to study the customs of the 
natives. In this he was accompanied by Father Acosta, the 
Judge Matienzo, and Polo de Ondegardo, each of whom has 
left valuable works regarding the traditions and early customs 
of the natives upon which most of the subsequent writings 
have been based. Toledo seems to have determined to stamp 
out all Incan traditions, and to change completely the habits of 
the natives in conformity with his own ideas as to what Span- 
ish subjects should be. He established the imposition known 
as the mitia* a personal tax upon the Indians, which neces- 
sitated a certain number from each province to submit them- 
selves to the control of the Governor for such work as he might 
assign them, at so small a pittance, $14 to $18 a year, that 
their labor was virtually slavery. This had grown out of the 
old system of common labor for the State during the Incan 
period. These Indians, known as mitayos, were assigned to 
service over every part of the country except the coast, where 
negro slaves were employed. They were compelled to work in 
the mines in the mountains, and in the cocals of the montana 
to cultivate their precious plant for the benefit of their foreign 
conquerors. This enforced labor was prompted through a 
desire to send all possible riches home to Spain ; and so brut- 
ally were the Indians driven to their tasks that in a century 
nine-tenths of these people had been destroyed by overwork 
and cruelty. 10 The owners of the obrajes where the coarse 
cloths were woven, employed men called guatacos to hunt the 
Indians and compel them to work for a mere pittance, while 
the poor victims were driven into an indebtedness for necessi- 

8 Mitta in Quichua signifies time, or term. 10 Markham; 1892. 


ties, which being advanced kept them in perpetual slavery to 
their masters. 

In 1569 the Spanish audience at Lima, composed of bish- 
ops from all parts of South America, denounced Coca because, 
as they asserted, it was a pernicious leaf, the chewing of which 
the Indians supposed gave them strength and was hence : "Un 
delusio del demonio." 11 The prejudice and abhorrence of the 
Spaniards was not only directed against Coca but against any 
custom of the Indians. This is shown by the following story,' 
related by Garcilasso, the Incan historian, writing from 
abroad : "I remember a story which I heard in my native land 
of Peru of a gentleman of rank and honor named Rodrigo 
Pantoja, who, travelling from Cuzco to Bimac, met a poor 
Spaniard, for there are poor people there as well as here, who 
was going on foot, with a little girl aged two years on his back. 
The man was known to Pantoja, and they thus conversed: 
'Why do you go laden thus ?' said the knight. The poor man 
answered that he was unable to hire an Indian to carry the 
child and for that reason he carried it himself. While he 
spoke Pantoja looked in his mouth and saw that it was full of 
Coca, and as the Spaniards abominate all that the Indians eat 
and drink as though it savored of idolatry particularly the 
chewing of Coca, which seems to them a low, vile habit, he 
said : 'It may be as you say, but why do you eat Coca like an 
Indian, a thing so hateful to Spaniards ?' The man answered : 
'In truth, my lord, I detest it as much as any one, but necessity 
obliges me to imitate the Indians and keep Coca in my mouth, 
for I would have you know that if I did not do so, I could not 
carry this burden, while the Coca gives me sufficient strength 
to endure the fatigue.' Pantoja was astonished to hear this, 
and told the story wherever he went; and from that time 
credit was given to the Indians for using Coca from necessity 
and not from vicious gluttony." 

Salorzano, 12 a Spanish jurist, says that the mittas of In- 
dians were prevented from working the cocals owing to the 
reported unhealthfulness of that section of the montaiia by an 
edict of October 18, 1569. The words of the law are as fol- 

u C6dula of October 18, 1569. ^ Polit. Ind., lib. H, cap. 10. 



lows : "As the country where Coca is grown is humid and sub- 
ject to rain, and the Indians in their work generally get wet 
and then fall ill from not changing their wet clothes, we com- 
mand that no Indian shall commence work in that land with- 
out being provided with a change of clothes, and the master of 
the Coca plantation must take especial care that this be done 
under a penalty of paying twenty baskets of Coca for each 
time that he may be found to bring any Indian to this work 
without complying with the regulations herein set forth." 13 
Finally Toledo permitted the cultivation of Coca with volun- 
tary labor, on condition that the Indians were well paid and 
that care was taken of their health. 

Besides the mitayos, some of the Indians, who were 
known as yanaconas, were bound to personal service literally 
household slaves, a custom that had been continued from an 


PERUVIAN VASES. [Tweddle Collection.] 
Polished Ware with Designs in Red. 

early Incan period. 14 In Toledo's time this class numbered 
some forty thousand who were assigned to the Spaniards as 

Toledo enacted some very rigorous laws affecting the In- 

13 Porque la tierra donde la Coca fie cria es Jiumeda y lluviosa, y los Indios 
de su beneflcio ordinariamente se mojan, y enferman de no mudar el vestido 
mojado; Ordenamos que ningun India entre a beneflciarla, sin que llcve el vestido 
duplicado para remudar, y el dueno de la Coca tenga especial cuidado que esto 
se cumpla bajo pena dc pdaar veinte cestas de Coca, por cada vez que se hallarc 
traer alaun India contra lo susdicho, aplicados en la forma referida. Recopilacidn 
de los Indios; torn. 2, lib. 6, tit. 14, ley 2. 

14 Inca Tupac Yupanqui granted a pardon to captive rebels at Yana-Yacu on 
condition that they should act as servants. These were known as Tana-Tacu- 
Cuna, which term was corrupted to yanaconas. 


dians. Among these was one condemning any Indian who 
married an idolatrous woman to receive one hundred lashes, 
because, says the edict, "that is the punishment which they 
dislike most." No Indian who had been punished for such an 
offense, or for engaging in any infidel rites, was eligible for 
any public office. The poor Indians were prevented from 
even choosing names for their children after birds or natural 
objects, as had been their ancient custom. Together with this 
oppression from the State was the authority of the Church, 

PERUVIAN ANIMAL VASES. [Twcddle Collection.] 

which exacted compulsory attendance at its services and ob- 
servances of all its festivals ; not only a personal observance, 
but a practical one as well, which necessitated the payment of 
large fees for every office. The Pope had no power over the 
South American clergy, the king being the virtual head of the 
Church, while the archbishop ranked next to the viceroy and 
in his absence acted in his stead. 

The Church, with its numerous dignitaries, had represen- 
tatives in every hamlet, with absolute control over the educa- 
tion of the Indians. Indeed, the Spanish were not slow in 
educational matters, the University of San Marcos, which is 
the oldest in the world, being founded at Lima as early as 
1551, and there were other colleges for the descendants of 
the conquerors, for the sons of the Incas, and for the students 
of the Church, with similar institutions at Cuzco, at Arequipa, 
at Truxillo, and Guamanga, all founded at an early date. 

Among the rigorous rulings of the Church, the people were 
obliged to provide supplies for the several feasts in commemo- 
ration of saints, as well as offerings to the priests on Sundays, 


which, in lieu of money, were paid in Coca or other products 
of their industry. It is reported that one priest extorted in 
this manner two hundred sheep, six thousand fowls and fifty 
thousand eggs in one year. On the death of a member of a 
poor Indian's family, the rites of the Church were refused 
until a good sum had been paid for the service. In default of 
voluntary payment the Indian's goods were seized. The 
clergy lived very immoral lives ; and in addition to their per- 
sonal extortions from the Indians, their concubines compelled 
the women to work for them. There was ever a constant greed 
shown toward all the effects of the natives, as the following 
story will illustrate : An Indian stopping at a tambo, and hav- 
ing no money to pay for his entertainment, left as a pledge with 
the woman in charge a number of antique golden figures, 
which he promised to redeem to the extent of his indebtedness 
upon his return, exacting from her a promise that she would 
sho\v these articles to no one. The woman subsequently being 
in need of money, gave the huacas to a priest as pledges, and 
when the Indian returned for them he was thrown into prison 
and compelled to confess that he knew of an Incan treasure, 
but if they dug for it, as he would indicate, the water would 
cover the valley where it w r as hidden. On search being made, 
it is said that a treasure of $2,500,000 was found, but the 
water, as he had predicted, rushed into the excavation, and the 
place, called Manan-Chile, is at present covered by a lake, in 
the centre of .which is a small island. 

Indians were excluded from all the higher occupations by 
a decree of the Count of Moncloa, who was the viceroy in 
1706. ~No Indian, mestizo half white and half Indian, ne- 
gro, mulatto, or zambo half Indian and half black, was per- 
mitted to have a shop for the sale of goods or even to traffic in 
the streets, but they were air confined absolutely to agricul- 
tural or mechanical labor. The public and military offices 
were all occupied by Spaniards, who maintained an insolent 
pride toward the Creoles. The policy was to crush out all free- 
dom of thought as well as of action in the last remnant of the 
Incan race. There was one redeeming feature in the Spanish 
cruelties, the exemption of the Indians from the jurisdiction 


of the Holy Inquisition, which was established in Peru in 
1569 by Philip II, and which was exercised by the most ter- 
rible cruelties inflicted for often the most trivial offense. 

The drain on the treasury of the home government through 
her countless wars necessitated a continual demand for money, 
and the poor mitayos were sent to the mines and literally 
worked to death in an endeavor to satisfy this constant cry for 
gold, The laborers were so beaten at their tasks that the pun- 
ishment seemed so much a necessary part of their existence 
that if they did not receive it they felt that their masters no 
longer loved them. . In the mills work was commenced before 
daylight, and the slaves w r ere locked in until dark, when those 
who had not completed the task that had been assigned them 
were cruelly punished. Thus this race became gradually de- 
based into abject slaves, and gold, which had been poetically 
termed by the Incas "Tears which the sun shed," might well 
have been corrupted into tears of darkness and toil ! 

At the height of its prosperity the Incan population num- 
bered some ten million souls, but the system of serfdom so re- 
duced its people that at the time of the census made by Arch- 
bishop Loaiza, in 1580, there were but 8,280,000, which to-day 
has dwindled into less than two millions. The poor Indians 
had a hard taskmaster under Spanish rule, and it was not until 
Peru was declared independent in 1821 that the system of 
slavery., known as the mitta, was forever abolished by law. 
There was still another abuse to which the Indians were sub- 
jected. They were compelled to buy useless things from the 
Spanish stores, which not only consumed any little savings 
they might have, but forced them into an indebtedness from 
which they were compelled to work in order to gain freedom. 
Under the pretense that they were being supplied with neces- 
sary goods at unusually advantageous prices, the most absurd 
things were imposed on them, such as fine silken hose for a 
barefooted Indian girl, silks, velvets and laces for the Indian's 
wife, padlocks to lock up what they never possessed, razors to 
shave beardless faces, and at one time a job lot of spectacles 
was distributed, through an edict that no Indian should appear 
in church unless wearing these necessary adjuncts to seeing 



the true light. The policy of the masters was to keep the In- 
dians in debt to them a custom that still continues it being 
an established law that an Indian shall not leave his master so 
long as he shall be indebted to him ; and, indeed, he could not 
find employment elsewhere so long as he is hampered by this 
incubus, so that the only way to escape from a life of continued 
slavery is to run away to some other part of the country, where 
the same system is continued and the weight of indebtedness is 
gradually assumed anew. 

Excessive duties were also established against harvests to 
increase the revenue. The alcabala was an excise duty of two 
per cent, on all provisions sold in the market, which in the case 

PERUVIAN VASES. [Tweddle Collection.] 
Representing Incas and a Plebeian. 

of Coca was extended to five per cent. Acosta wrote that in 
his time the Coca trade at Potosi was worth five hundred thou- 
sand dollars annually, and that in 1583 the Indians consumed 
one hundred thousand cestas of Coca, worth two and a half 
dollars each at Cuzco, and four dollars at Potosi. Borja y 
Arragon, who, by his. marriage, became Prince of Esquilache, 
reports that in 1746 the excise of 5 per cent, imposed upon 
Coca yielded eight hundred dollars from Caravaya alone, 
while between 1785 and 1795 this Coca tariff yielded a reve- 
nue to the Peruvian vice-royalty of $2,641,487. This oppres- 
sive tax occasioned an insurrection in Quito, which was put 
down and the excise rigidly enforced. 



The following table will give an idea of the prices which 
Coca leaves have brought at varying periods in different local- 
ities : 15 





Price in 
Piasters. * 





Cuzco . 




Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 

Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Arroba (25 pounds) 
Cesta (24 pounds) 

25 pounds 
Cesta (25 pounds) 



Very high. 


4K 5 
16 cents 
24 cents 



Vice-royalty of Buenos 


Plateau of the Andes. . 



Cerro de Pasco 

La Paz 


La Paz 

Salta, Argentine Con- 
federation . 

Santa Anna. 

La Paz. . . . 


Ports of Peru 

Ports of Peru 

It is remarkable that during a period of several hundred 
years the price of Coca has remained at so uniform a rate. 

During the vice-royalty of Chinchon, in 1628, the febri- 
fuge virtue of the cinchona tree was made known through an 
Indian descendant of the Incas of Uritusinga, near Loxa in 
Quito, having given some of the fever-curing bark to a Jesuit 
missionary, who sent it to Dr. Diego de Torres Vasquez, by 
means of which he was enabled to cure the wife of the viceroy, 
who was ill with tertiana. It is presumed that the Incas 
were long acquainted with the medicinal virtues of this bark, 
which, like all of their remedial measures, they kept secret. 

15 Compiled from Gosse; 1861. 

* The Piaster is the Spanish silver dollar, equal to the Spanish-American 
golden pesos, equivalent to about 97 cents of United States money. 

16 Mr. Markham, who made a special study of the cinchona-bearing trees, has 
written a little work advocating the spelling of the word chinchona in conformity 
with its derivation. 


From the speedy cure which was effected, the remedy was 
honored with the title "Countess' Bark," and subsequently 
because of being introduced into Europe in powdered form by 
the Jesuits of Peru it was known as "Jesuits' Powder." Lin- 
nfcus gave the name of cinchona to the genus of plants which 
produces it, in memory of the viceroy. The bark derived 
from the forests near Loxa, in the ancient province of Quito, 
was for many years the only kind known to commerce, being 
exported from the port of Payta and known as Crown Bark. 
But various species of this precious tree are found throughout 
the Eastern cordillera of the Andes for a distance of two thou- 
sand miles, along the same curve where Coca is grown, though 
unlike Coca, it is not cultivated but is found in its native 
home deep in those forests and glens which are situated at an 
altitude of from 1,000 to 2,000 metres (3,280 to 6,560 feet). 
The cascarilleros, as the collectors are known, undergo great 
hardships in gathering it. They are usually half civilized In- 
dians, and often they are cheated out of their just claims, the 
price of the bark being regulated by law. The forests where 
cinchona is gathered are extremely unhealthful ; the tempera- 
ture, usually about 70 F., does not vary two degrees during 
the day, while at night, when there are usually rains, it falls 
perhaps eight degrees. The cinchona tree grows slowly, it re- 
quiring a man's lifetime for it to reach perfection, while often 
carelessness in gathering destroys the trees, which are forever 
lost. The Indians who gather the bark get sick from ex- 
posure in the malarial regions into which they must penetrate, 
and the cascarillero looks to his Coca as a more ready means of 
sustenance and relief than is the recognized specific which he 
is engaged in collecting, for the Indians regard Coca as a 
remedy against malaria superior to quinine. 17 

After the establishment of the Bourbon kings in Spain a 
brisk trade, which had before then been held as a monopoly, 
was opened with American commerce, to which all of Europe 
was invited to contribute. Merchantmen were fitted out, and 
a flota of some fifteen vessels annually sailed from Cadiz, stop- 
ping at Vera Cruz and Havana, where the merchandise was 

17 Markham; p. 53, et seq.; 1880. 



discharged and the vessels were loaded with the riches of the 
Xew World, which had come by way of Porto Bello from 
Peru. The immense wealth of the cargoes carried by the gal- 
leons below the Isthmus attracted the set of buccaneers who 
cruised off the Peruvian coast to prey upon this traffic, occa- 
sioning constant alarm. But as even evil may have a portion 
of good, so these pirates awakened considerable interest among 
the literary workers of that time; while remedial measures 
were enriched by at least one compound attributed to Clipper- 
ton's captain of marines, who is said to have first made the 
since famous Dover's powder. Then there was Rogers, who 
found Alexander Selkirk the hero for "Robinson Crusoe," 
on the island of Juan Fernandez, where he had been left four 
years before by Stradling ; and, finally, Shelboche, on whose 
vessel the incident of shooting a black albatross, a bird of 

Guoup OF LLAMAS. [From a Photograph.} 

superstitious reverence to seamen, is said to have suggested to 
Coleridge "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:" 

"And I had done a hellish thing, 

And it would work 'em woe, 
For all averred I had killed the bird 
That made the breeze to blow." 

Coleridge; XXIII. 

The Spanish oppression in Peru, as has been seen, was 


cruelly severe ; the once happy and peaceful Incas were for- 
ever destroyed. The progress and advanced socialism of 
these early people was engulfed in an onward rush of what was 
supposedly a higher civilization. It is suggestive of the old 
fable of the boys and the frogs, for while it was a good thing 
for Spain, it was death to the Incans. It is even questionable 
whether the Spanish Conquest was advantageous to Peru, 18 
though as a slight compensation in exchange for her riches 
for plants and products of inestimable value, she has received 
from Spain the domestic animals, wheat, the vine, sugar cane, 
the olive, the date and many fruits. If Spain did not feel she 
had done an injustice, at least there were some among the con- 
querors who viewed matters in that light. When Marcio Sera 
de Lajesema, who was the last of Pizarro's original party, died 
he left a will which expressed this sentiment as his personal 
view of the Spanish invasion. This portion of the will, which 
was admitted to probate at Cuzco, November 15, 1589, reads : 
''First, before beginning my will, I declare that I have desired 
much to give notice to His Catholic Majesty, King Philip, our 
lord, seeing how good a Catholic and Christian he is, and how 
zealous in the service of the Lord our God, concerning that 
which I would relieve my mind of, by reason of having taken 
part in the discovery and conquest of these countries, which we 
took from the lords Yncas, and placed under the Royal Crown, 
a fact which is known to His Catholic Majesty. The said 
Yncas governed in such a way that in all the land neither a 
thief, nor vicious man, nor a bad, dishonest woman was known. 
The men all had honest and profitable employment. The 
lands and mines, and all kinds of property were so divided 
that each man knew what belonged to him, and there were no 
lawsuits. The Yncas were feared, obeyed and respected by 
their subjects, as a race very capable of governing, but we took 
away their land, and placed it under the Crown of Spain, and 
made them subjects. Your Majesty must understand that my 
reason for making this statement is to relieve my conscience, 
for we have destroyed this people by our bad examples. 
Crimes were once so little known among them that an Indian 

"Reclus; 1886. 



with a hundred thousand pieces of gold and silver in his house 
left it open, only placing a little stick across the door, as a sign 
that the master was out, and nobody went in. But when they 
saw that we placed locks and keys upon our doors, they under- 
stood that it was from fear of thieves ; and when they saw that 
we had thieves amongst us, they despised us. All this I tell 
your Majesty to discharge my conscience of a weight, that I 
may no longer be a party to these things. And I pray God to 
pardon me, for I -am the last to die of all the discoverers and 
conquerors, as it is notorious that there are none left but me, 
in this land or out of it, and therefore I now do what I can to 
relieve my conscience." 19 

CalancJia, lib. i, cap. 15, p. 98, quoted in Markham; preface to Gtezo. 



'The dreadful Andes plac'd 'twixt Winter's Store 
Of Winds, Rains, Snow, and that more humble Earth, 
That gives the small, but valiant, Coca birth." 


ANY miles and many conditions inter- 
vene between the gathering of Coca 
from the cocals of the montana on 
the eastern slope of the Andes until 
its ultimate consumption by the mill- 
ions of people throughout the world, 
who now find in it solace and power. 
.The physical aspect of the mighty 

Andes must still be much as when our first knowledge of them 
begun, for though time changes even these sturdy mountains 
their stupendousness remains, while conditions for transpor- 
tation and for subsistence seem by comparison more severe. 
Fully as wonderful then as the associations of Coca with the 
arts and customs of the Incas, are the prodigious heights and 
sublime trials to which those who work, who gather and who 
transport the little leaf are subjected. Care in cultivation, 
the importance and perplexities of harvesting, and the prob- 
lem of the final preparation for shipment, are as nothing 
when compared with the long, toilsome and even dangerous 
journey through w v hich Coca must be conveyed to the coast. 

We may perhaps better appreciate this in a review of some 
of the topographical difficulties which this marvelous leaf has 



to pass in transit ; and as such landmarks and features as have 
determined the peculiarities or wealth of this historic home of 
Coca are presented, let us also consider these. Each of these 
factors is of importance as tending to shape the habits of the 
people we are studying, and may prove interesting, if not 
wholly essential, for a proper appreciation of the dependence 
placed by them on Coca as the means of surmounting every 
difficulty. In doing this we may best trace the path of travel 
from the ocean which washes the shore of this golden land, 
across those perilous and barren rocky steeps and lofty fertile 
plains, to the luxuriant fields beyond of perpetual verdure, 
where Coca is ever growing, ever blooming into one con- 
tinuous harvest of pent-up endurance. 1 

From Panama to the equator the coast is green, but the 
Peruvian shores are as desolate and barren a view as ever 
human eyes, which have anxiously looked for land, beheld. 
The entire aspect of the rugged Andes, which skirt the shore 
of South America from the southern extremity to the Carib- 
bean Sea, is not only absolutely uninviting, but seems to pre- 
sent a veritable barrier to further advance, even by land. 
Along a dreary stretch of reddish-yellow sand Peru has but the 
single harbor of Chimbote. In places the waters are filled 
with angry rocks, as though so many extended roots had been 
thrown out from the great mountains to bind them more se- 
curely to their base, or to assert dominion even in the ocean. 
Here has evidently been the home of the sea fowl pelicans 
and cormorants, since this New World began ; they are in 
countless numbers everywhere, on the rocks and about the 
desert islands off the shore. As a result of their abiding place 
here through many centuries, the excrement of these birds, 
mixed with decomposing carcasses and eggs, has formed an ac- 
cumulation to the depth, in some localities, of nearly a hundred 
feet, which is known as Imanu, or guano. 2 So extensive was 
the accumulation of this vari-colored deposit on some of the 
adjacent islands that it formed lofty hills, which, being 

1 There are at least three and commonly four harvests a year, so that it is 
almost continuous. 

- Huanu is the Quichua term, which has been converted by the Spanish into 
the present form. The Ouichua language has no (j, and the common terminal 
has usually been changed to o; Tschudi; p. 239; 1847. 


topped with a white incrustation of urates, led the Spanish 
invaders to name them the Sierra Nevada, or "Snowy Moun- 
tains." 3 

Although this source of wealth at the very portals of Peru 
is now greatly diminished, for a number of years it has brought 
an annual return to the State of nearly $15,000,000, an in- 
come sufficient to have awakened more than a neighborly in- 
terest, which finally culminated in war with Chile, w T ell de- 
scribed by Mr. Clements R. Markham, a voluminous writer on 
Peruvian customs, to whom we are indebted for many facts. 4 
An anecdote is current in Peru which emphasizes the dis- 
pleasure of the Chileans at this author's account of that war, 
his description of which they consider rather favored the 
Peruvians. It is said they do not so much object to his having 
written they made a cruel war, in which they killed mur- 
dered thousands of innocent people, but to say they had 
stolen the Peruvians' guano, "that is too much ! and makes 
them mad." So the name of Markham is not recalled in Chile 
with friendly emotions. 

There has been considerable speculation as to the deriva- 
tion of the name Andes. Prescott supposed the word to be 
a corruption of the Quichua word Ania, copper, while Gar- 
cilasso suggested Anti, from the province east of Cuzco. 
Others again have assumed that the title was derived from the 
Spanish term anden, the lower steps of the mountain terraces, 
andenes or andeneria, where Coca is cultivated. But these 
are all merely fanciful suppositions, and the real derivation 
must be considered, as Humboldt has said : "lost in the ob- 
scurity of the past." This is a land of prodigious distances, 
extreme heights and gigantic proportions, so it may not seem 
remarkable to speak of the Andes as extending through Peru 
for a thousand miles, nor to allude to towering elevations for 
thousands of feet. The Andes are commonly described as in 
two ranges, but this arrangement depends wholly upon the 
locality. In northern Peru above the latitude of Lima there 

3 Prescott; Vol. I; p. 138; 1848. 

4 War was declared by Chile April 5, 1879, a declaration which this author 
said was ca'used "because the Peruvian ships stood no chance with the new iron- 
clads of Chile"; Markham; p. 386; 1892. 


are V-shaped projections from the cordillera which form 
shorter ranges, while in southern Peru a bird's-eye view of the 
country appears like a succession of petrified whirlpools. 
Spurs and knots abound in every direction, so that the whole 
lower country is a succession of mountains and basins and 
valleys. The western cordillera, sometimes termed the 
"maritime" or the cordillera de la costa runs parallel with 
the coast, while separated from that by erosion is the central 
chain; and still further east is the cordillera real, which is 
commonly described as the Andes proper. The eastern range 
is broken in the north into several V-shaped formations, be- 
tween which lie the forests of the northern montaiia, while 
east of the entire range extends the low flat stretch of the 
Amazonian valley for thousands of miles to the Atlantic. The 
coast chain is a bleak, untimbered range of barren rocks, 
above which is a belt of some hundred miles broad, cold and 
desolate, known as the puna, across which the traveller is glad 
to hasten. It is to this varied configuration of mountain that 
Peru owes its marvels of climate. 

Separated from the ocean by a narrow strip of land, the 
bluff fronts of the Andes rise like a mighty wall, the stu- 
pendous grandeur of which can only be partially judged by 
a distant view from a vessel as she lies far off. 5 At places the 
mountains run directly down to the water, while at others 
the coast varies, having an average width of twenty miles ; 
the whole a sandy desert, or, rather, a succession of deserts, 
with here and there a spot capable of cultivation, if the con- 
ditions were favorable. Between these desert places, often 
separated by many miles, there are fertile valleys which have 
been reclaimed by irrigation, or which are watered by some 
scanty mountain stream coursing through one of the quebra- 

B Hall, 1825, says at 130 miles the mountains seemed quite close. 


Near the base of the mountains may be seen the narrow mule path which 
winds around the hills. 

1. Grove of Algarroba trees. 2. Typical scene amidst the low hills near the 
coast; Department of Piura. 3. Devil's Bridge, on line of Oroya Railroad. 4. Que- 
brada of Challape, altitude 7,507 feet, Oroya Railroad. 5. A native hut in desert 
near the coast. 6. Quebrada of Chicla, altitude 12,220 feet, eighty miles from 
Lima. 7. A Quebrada of the coast; a typical irrigation stream. 



SCENES ix THE AXDES. [From Photographs.] 
For description see opposite page. 


das, 6 or gulches, which convey the waters of the western slope 
to the sea. The extreme fertility of the soil is shown in every 
favored location promptly following any effort at irrigation, 
when the line of demarkation as we might say in surgery 
is sharply defined against the barrenness beside it, which, from 
a distance, appears as though some monster green patches 
had been cut out by gigantic shears and set down here and 
there against the yellowish-red background. It never rains 
along this entire stretch, or so rarely that it is presumably 
always dry. About once in seven years, owing to some 
peculiar position of the globe at such times, some rain may 
fall. The early Peruvians used to consider this condition had 
originated through a quarrel between Pachacama and Con, 
those traditional brothers of the sun, who first possessed the 
coast land. Con, the thunder god, having been overpowered 
in the dispute, fled to the north, and in irritation at his defeat 
took the rain with him, leaving the arid desert behind. 7 
Whether because of this quarrel or not, it never rains nor 
thunders from Ecuador in the north to the River Loa in the 
south, and back to the sun-baked outposts of the Andes, from 
one year's end to another, except on the phenomenal occa- 
sions alluded to, when the wild torrential rain of the tropics 
pours down. 8 Then, as though to be an index to the possi- 
bilities of this region, when prompted by appropriate en- 
couragement following a septennial drought, the parched 
desert is transformed by Nature's magic touch into a luxuriant 
garden of grasses, flowers and melons, all of which as speedily 
melt away under the fierce rays of the broiling sun as did 
Aladdin's castle at the bidding of the Genie. The grasses now 
changed into what might be termed a natural hay, remain 
with the beanlike fruit of the algarroba trees growing in the 
quebradas, the sole pasturage for the great herds of goats, 
cattle and horses of the coast. But fodder is not plenty, and 
the best hay must be brought from Valparaiso and San Fran- 
cisco, for, as a lady in emphasizing this point to me declared, 
"Hay is hay in Peru." 

6 These quebradas correspond to the deep ravines termed cations in Colorado. 

7 Brinton; 1868. 8 At the time of this writing more than ten years had elapsed 
without rain on the Peruvian coast. 


Mature manifests a constant activity here in all her be- 
longings, and rumblings and quakings of the earth are of fre- 
quent occurrence, running parallel with the sea, and upon oc- 
casions too frequent a great deal of damage has been done 
from such disturbances. Several such attacks of unusual vio- 
lence have almost destroyed the ancient capital city of Lima, 
once in 1586, and again in 1630, and another in 1687, but the 
most terrific shaking up was in October, 1746, when over five 
thousand people were killed, and an immense wave carried 
the frigate "San Fermin," which w r as lying off the coast, in- 
land, and left her high and dry, as was stranded the ark of 
old, far above the waters. This experience was repeated more 
than a hundred years later, when the United States man-of- 
war "Waterlee" and other vessels were carried two miles in- 
land by a tidal wave at Arica, while the city of Arequipa was 
destroyed by an eruption of Misti in August, 1868. 

Even the winds manifest peculiarities in this land of many 
wonders, and persistently blow always from the south, from 
the sea by day and from the shore at night, carrying the light 
sand of the coast into great crescent-shaped shifting hillocks 
twenty or thirty feet high, which are known as medanos. 
This constant drifting obliterates such narrow trails as may 
have served for roads, and covers up everything that comes 
in the way. Sometimes in the stillness of the night the winds 
play quaint music on these sandhills, which sounds very weird, 
and whispers strange things to the belated traveller. In 
some cases whole villages have been covered over with this 
ever-changing sand, and so the inhabitants were literally com- 
pelled to bui]d their homes elsewhere. 

We have seen how in the time of the Incas many parts of 
this barren strip of coast were reclaimed by their immense 
system of irrigation, which carried water through canals over 
great distances. Some of these old aqueducts are still used to 
water the haciendas, or large plantations of the coast valleys, 
many of which owe their existence wholly to this possibility. 
Particularly is this so in the Nasca Valley, in the Province 
of lea, a naturally unpropitious spot in the very heart of a 
desert, with forty miles of arid sand on one side and a hun- 



dred miles of barrenness upon the other, yet the stimulus of 
irrigation has made this a prolific centre where cotton, grapes 
and numerous fruits are grown in perfection. In some cases 
these old conduits, long since neglected, show their route by 
the rank vegetation which has sprung up in their course. In 
others, where the supply is dried up, the beds serve as roads, 
and often form the only available path for travel up the 

Whether Con, through pique, was partly responsible or 
not for the total absence of rain along the coast, the physical 
cause from the combined action of trade winds and lofty snow- 
capped mountains may seem a more scientific interpretation to 

ACROSS A CACTI DESERT. [From a Sketch by H. W. C. Tweddlc.~\ 

some. The winds blowing from the Atlantic lose much of 
their water while crossing the vast Amazonian Valley, while 
upon reaching the icy peaks of the Andes any remaining 
humidity is precipitated as snow and hail, and they blow over 
the coast cold and dry, going out to sea before again becoming 
charged with moisture. To replace this absence of rain there 
is from June to December either a drizzle termed garua, or a 
cloudy mist known as neblina, as a result of w T hich, combined 
with the scorching sun, malarial fever tertiana as it is here 
termed is very prevalent, though it is not at all known in the 

Although we must consider Peru as a country of infinite 


phenomena, its most remarkable feature is its clima.te, for it 
presents every variety on the globe from the Equator to the 
Polar regions. Here one may have a choice, from the blaz- 
ing suns of the desert, through the bleak and cheerless puna 
to the delightful equable climate of the Sierra ; from the heat 
and humidity of the tropical home of Coca to the perpetual 
spring of the table lands ; from everlasting winter upon the 
mountain tops to never-ending summer in the higher valleys. 
These changes vary with the elevation, and are not materially- 
affected with the seasons, but remain in each locality nearly 
the same throughout the year, each gradation being happily 
displayed by Nature in the vegetation which, through succes- 
sive altitudes, represents the product of every country on the 
earth ; so that a trip across the Andes to the cocals of the mon- 
taiia does not necessitate, like some other journeys, a wait 
upon time, unless deterred by the swelling" of mountain 
streams during the rains. The traveller may pass from one 
season to the other, through every change of heat and cold, 
from temperate vegetation to tropical luxuriance ; from wintry 
storms to sunshine. Particularly in descending the Eastern 
slope is this transition noticeable, when one may sit down to 
cool off from the exertion and excessive heat of a summer's 
day, which a profusion of tropic flowers, gorgeously tinted 
butterflies and sweetly warbling birds assure as a reality, 
while the melting snow upon hat and shoulders drips down to 
recall those wintry blasts which were but shortly left above 
and behind. 

If we commence our journeying, as did Pizarro, from the 
most northern end of the coast and travel south we may suc- 
cessively review several important industries. About sixty 
miles north of Payta, in the District of Piura, below the Brea 
or "Pitch Mountains," there is a tablazo at an elevation of 
some three hundred feet, which is covered with calcareous 
sandstone, resting on alternating strata of pudding stone and 
shale marl on a base of argillaceous shales. Here there bubbles 
up like spring water a rock oil, which, trickling over the sur- 
face, becomes filled with the sand blowing from the desert, and 
dries into a black tarry-like pitch. This substance is used by 


the people near by for making the pavement of their roads, 
and even the floors of the houses, just as asphaltum might be 
employed. In early times the Spaniards used the cleanly 
fired pitch as a coating for their wine jars. Some forty years 
ago trial borings proved that petroleum was present here in 
very large quantities, and Mr. H. W. C. Tweddle, who w r as 
the first refiner of this oil on a commercial basis, interested 
himself in this locality. It is due to the foresight of this 
skilled engineer and his keen appreciation of the possibilities 
here presented that this region has developed what has been 
termed the second largest field of petroleum for fuel pur- 
poses in the world. 

Beyond this petroleum district, toward the south, there 
extends a succession of fertile valleys. Those of the Chira 
and Piura rivers are connected with the port of Payta by 
short lines of railroad. Both of these places are noted for 
their extensive plantations of cotton, an important product 
which is grown in many of the haciendas along the coast as 
far south as the Nasca Valley. There is a peculiarity about 
Peruvian cotton which must strike one who is only familiar 
with its shrub-like growth in our Southern States and who 
sees it here for the first time, where it grows upon trees ten 
to fifteen feet high, as in the East. The wool is of every 
variety of coloration, ranging from white to deep orange 
brown, and through various shades of violet. This coloring, 
which is presumably due to the action of some insect, affects 
about one plant in fifty. The Yuncas, who early inhabited 
the coast, considered such colored cotton sacred, and used it 
as a wrapping for the heads of their mummies. 9 Other im- 
portant coast crops are sugar and grapes. At Pisco and Yea, 
in the dominion of the ancient Chimu, there are extensive 
vineyards, and here the native "Italia" and "Pisco" brandy 
is made, a rather crude distillation of grape alcohol, pure 
white and tasting like dilute spirits. It is put up in conical 
earthen jars with narrow necks, each containing about three 
gallons, a pisquito, as the jar is termed, costing about eight 
dollars at the vineyard. The ancient valley of Santa is rich 

9 The Egyptians also reserved their colored cotton for certain rites. 



in animal and mineral productions, and with a vast buried 
store of treasure in pottery. 

In all of the larger haciendas, vegetables of all kinds are 
raised, together with the various fruits, both indigenous as 
well as the adopted varieties, each of which grows best only 
in some certain locality. It is estimated that during the time 
of the Incas the population of the Chira and the Piura val- 
leys was nearly two hundred thousand, which has diminished, 
as shown by a recent census to be but little over seventy-five 
thousand. The Incans, wherever located, were a thrifty race, 
expert in agriculture, and we owe to them the improvement 
and cultivation of many serviceable products, perhaps the two 
extremes of utility being shown in the domestication of the 
potato, which has required hundreds of years to develop from 

PERUVIAN VASES AND A DOLL. [Ticeddle Collection.] 
Showing Similarity in Decoration to the Grecian and Assyrian Ornamentation. 

its wild state, and Coca, originally of natural selection, which 
has been preserved through so many centuries to its final 
adaptability to present usefulness. 

At a short distance back from the coast are low hills 
known as lomas, which from June until December are covered 
with vegetation and wild flowers. Here in the early days of 
prosperity "before the war," as the Peruvians are wont to 
say there was a constant scene of jollity, when these places 
were made the camping ground of many happy families from 
the neighboring plantations. There are many thermal springs 
throughout Peru, some ferruginous, some sulphurous, which 
are administered as remedies in dysentery, rheumatism and 


cutaneous diseases. At Piura, where the air is exceedingly 
dry, and as a native describes it, "as hot as the infernal regions 
could be," the springs have considerable local repute in the 
treatment of syphilis. They are commonly conducted by old 
women, who administer mud baths and recommend a sort of 
sweating-out process, after the manner of the Hot Springs of 

A very important source of Peruvian wealth has long been 
the immense deposits of nitrates, which some few years ago 
yielded an income of upwards of $17,000,000. The principal 
territory where this is deposited is at Tarapaca, now held by 
Chile, the ravines of which it is said contain a supply suffi- 
cient to last more than a thousand years. But with her newer 
petroleum industry, and the development of those innumer- 
able, natural resources of her land, which are only about being 
opened up to the commercial world by a system of railroads, 
Peru has an inexhaustible source of wealth and means of 

From Callao to the southern Peruvian port of Mollendo, 
about five hundred miles, is a three days' trip in a comfortable 
English-built steamer. The surf along the coast is very heavy, 
and sea captains say the harbor of Mollendo begins at Cape 
Horn. On still days the water looks smooth, but there are 
threatening rocks and rapids, and the vessel sinks eight or ten 
feet between the long swells. The ships are always unloaded 
off shore by lighters, and when the weather is bad many days 
often pass before a landing can be made. Mollendo, situated 
on a rocky bluff, is a small coast town of bamboo and adobe 
huts, made somewhat modern in appearance through being the 
railroad terminus from the eastern montafia as well as the 
port of Arequipa, and principal shipping point for Coca, wool, 
minerals and other products of export from southern Peru. 
Here as we come into the volcanic region there is an immense 
desert covered with a dirty white dust which the natives say 
has been thrown out from the mighty mountain in some erup- 

From Mollendo the Southern Railroad of Peru, which is 
one of the marvels in engineering of the world, extends to 



Juliaca, from where a branch road connects south to Puno 
on Lake Titicaca, and another running north is planned to 
be continued to Cuzco. . The cars, which are English built, 
are divided into first and second class. Starting from Mol- 
lendo in the morning at eleven, a run is made for a hundred 
miles through a waterless desert, so barren not even the cactus 
will grow, to Arequipa, 10 at an altitude of seven thousand five 
hundred and fifty feet. Along this route, which ascends two 
hundred and twelve feet in a mile, one may look down for two 
thousand feet into the fertile valley of Tambo, where sugar 
cane is extensively grown, from which much of the Peruvian 
fire water is manufactured. There is a gradual rise by an 
intricate succession of switchbacks and curves to the table- 
land of La Joya, from where a fine view may be obtained of 


the ancient city of Arequipa, which is reached about seven 
o'clock in the evening, and a stop is made to enable the traveller 
to secure a comfortable night's rest in a good modern hotel, 
which bears the conventional name of "Grand Central." The 
Peruvian railroads follow strictly the custom of the country, 
and do everything in a leisurely way, so they only travel by 
daylight, not necessarily because of any particular difficulty 
in the route, for the roads are all well equipped and have been 
efficiently constructed at great expense. 

At Arequipa the traveller usually spends a few days to be- 
come accustomed to the change before proceeding to higher al- 
titudes. This is the second largest city of Peru, and is the 
distributing centre for the whole southern country. It is 

10 Arequipa, from the Quichua Arlquepai, "Yes, rest here," the name given 
by the Incans to the station where a rest was made on the journey from Cuzco to 
the coast. 


crowned by the lofty volcano of Misti, which, with a height 
of over 20,000 feet, looms up imposingly in the background, 
while Pichu-pichu, 17,800 feet, Charchani, 19,000 feet, 
and the Pan de Azucar all seem to keep a stolid guardianship 
over the city. The Boyden meteorological station of Harvard 
is situated on the heights of Misti at 19,200 feet, where with 
an eight-inch Bache telescope some fine astronomical photo- 
graphs have been made. From Arequipa an iron pipe line 
carries water to the coast, where nearly 500,000 gallons are 
delivered in twenty-four hours through the largest pipe 
aqueduct in the world. The streets of this old city are narrow, 
and the houses are picturesquely built of white volcanic stone, 
and the latticed balconies and covered fagades, with every- 
where the Spanish arms, serve to carry one into the quaint 
antiquity of long ago. The churches are numerous, and some 
of them are very rich in ornament and have altars of silver, 
while the cathedral has a magnificent pulpit of carved cedar. 
The shops are principally conducted by Germans, though there 
are many English and Americans who are interested in 
mining and other industries. The Chile River is a turbulent 
stream, spanned by an old bridge constructed by Pizarro. 
Along its banks are the remains of the once beautiful ala- 
medas promenades while the former palaces which bor- 
dered it are now drinking places, where chicha is dispensed to 
a thirsty populace. 

Continuing the journey east, a start is made from Are- 
quipa in the morning, and the run to Juliaca occupies a day of 
hard climbing, the road circling about Misti for hours until 
the Pampa de Arrieros is reached at an elevation of twelve 
thousand feet, where a stop is made for breakfast. The first 
chain of the Andes is crossed at Alto Crucero, at an elevation 
of about fifteen thousand feet, and a descent is made to a 
great plateau, here the road winds about two small lakes 
Saracocha and Cachipascana about which are many ter- 
races which reach to the tops of the mountains. 

Juliaca the eastern terminal of the southern road 
facetiously termed the Chicago of Peru is one hundred and 
eighty-nine miles from Arequipa. It is the stopping place for 


miners, and the junction for the road north to Sicuani, where 
there is a coach line to Cuzco, some two and a half or three 
days' journey. During early Spanish times this locality was 
a mining centre, and the neighboring hills are honeycombed 
with the ruins of abandoned mines. From Juliaca the line 
runs south to Puno, on Lake Titicaca, where may be found a 
comfortable modern iron steamboat, which affords accommo- 
dation for fifty first-class passengers. It took many years to 
construct this boat, which was built in Europe, and after being 
landed at Mollendo in pieces it was carried over the mountains 
on the backs of mules. Some of the pieces of machinery 
were lost, and it required considerable time to replace them, 
so that ten years was consumed before the boat was finally set 
up and running. But so extensive has been the traffic for this 
improved transportation that this steamer can earn a hand- 
some profit while burning coal brought all the way from 
Australia at an ultimate cost of forty-four dollars a ton in 
Peruvian money. Anthracite and bituminous coal are both 
found in the mountains in abundance, but there is not only 
the difficulty of mining it, but the added problem of transpor- 

'Beyond Juliaca to the north the railroad is left at Pocara, 
which was the favorite resting place of the last Inca in his 
journey between the Titicaca region and Cuzco. Here mules 
which have been engaged in advance are in waiting with their 
arrieros, and arrangements are perfected for the long ride 
over the mountains to the montaiia. From Pocara the first 
stop of the mule train is made at Azangaro. The houses 
here have thatched roofs, and are built of adobe. All the booths 
in the plaza sell alcohol and the various knick-knacks admired 
by the Indians. The women wherever they are met are in- 
dustriously engaged in spinning, no matter what their other 
occupation may be, and the result of this diligence is displayed 
in balls of cotton which are hung in the houses. Cotton cloth 
is commonly used here in traffic, a yard of it being equivalent 
to the hire of a laborer for a day, equal to about thirty cents 
of Bolivian money. From Azangaro the second day's journey 
on mule back continues through a low valley of fair pasture 


land. The soil is of a red sandstone, in places very silieious. 
at others soft and friable, while the surrounding hills are of 
granite with large quartz boulders. The hacienda of Oggra 
is shortly reached, which belongs to a convent, and ignoring 
the good old hymn of Dr. Watts, is curiously enough noted for 
the raising of good fighting bulls. After a six hours' ride a 
stop is made at the hacienda Huancasayana, a ranch with 
some four thousand cattle and twelve thousand sheep, where 
chalona, or dried mutton, is extensively prepared. The sheep 
are killed, skinned and cleaned, and the carcasses split open 
and slashed so that the blood may drain off. About two 
pounds of salt is rubbed into each carcass, and these are then 
exposed to the frost and sun for twenty days, by which time 
they will have lost some two-thirds of their former weight, 
and are dried hard and stiff, and will keep for a long time in 
this rarefied atmosphere. Here at an altitude of 13,500 feet 
a stop may be made at the end of the day, where an adobe hut 
of but a single room affords gratuitous shelter to travellers. 

From here an early start is made in the morning; the 
atmosphere is cold at this high altitude, and the ponds are 
covered with a thin crust of ice which the rising sun melts. 
Following the long narrow valley, many mountain streams 
are crossed, and the vegetation gradually changes from long 
grass to a shorter kind, while a sort of woolly lichen grows 
which is said to be good for cattle. A steep ascent is soon made 
to fifteen thousand four hundred and fifty feet, and though the 
air seems exhilarating, one cannot walk far without getting 
out of breath in consequence of the rarefied atmosphere. An 
occasional vicuna is to be seen here, but they are very shy, and 
it is difficult to shoot them. The rocks about are stratified 
layers of granite. Six and a half hours' ride brings the trav- 
eller to Picotani, where there is a farm of some twenty leagues 
in circumference, capable of supporting seventy thousand 
sheep. It never rains in this locality, for the air is so cold 
that the moisture is precipitated as snow. The rarefied air 
makes one feel the cold even more than the low temperature, 
while aside from the great loss of latent heat there is no fire 
to warm up by. Butter of fine quality is made in this region. 



From Picotani the trail is through a rolling grass country, 
from where a splendid view may be had of the snow-clad tops 
of the Vilcafiota range. Travelling parallel with these moun- 
tains and going due east, Einconado, a small deep lake of 
rough water at the foot of Ananea, may be seen. At its south- 
ern end this lake is twelve hundred yards wide, narrowing at 
the north to four hundred yards. Here are peat bogs and a 
lot of ice-cold springs, while at the top of the hill is an old 
Spanish mountain town with a quartz mine at an altitude of 
over seventeen thousand feet, but too far above the line of 

PCST HOUSE AT AZAXGARO. ALTITUDE 13,500 FEET. [From a Photograph.^ 

perpetual snow to prove attractive for work. A stop is made 
at Poto, near by, where there is a plant for gold-washing. 
Leaving here in the morning and riding to the northwest, the 
crest of the Andes, at about sixteen thousand feet, is crossed, 
and the abrupt descent into the montana begins. Down be- 
tween dark snow-clad hills, in beating rain to Tambillo, the 
descent continues through a mountain path of slate forming a 
sort of stairway. The scenery is now of the grandest nature. 
The mountains rise precipitately on either side for thousands 
of feet, and here and there are topped with snowy patches. A 
little stream which above was known as the Lata now changes 


its name to the River Sandia, and dashes on over a solid bed 
of slate, which is often stained black by organic matter. To 
look up against the face of the mountain it appears like a dead 
wall, and yet this precipitous place has been gradually circled 
in the descent, and far back the baggage mules may be seen 
slowly crawling along and appearing like so many diminutive 
insects as they wind around the narrow path. As the region 
of vegetation is reached the hillsides are terraced for grazing 
wherever available on account of the stony nature of the soil. 
Some of these terraces are only two or three feet wide. In 
some cases where there have been immense earth slides these 
also are terraced, and here the shepherds live while watching 
their flocks. Everywhere there are yari-colored and sweet- 
scented flowers. The wild pineapple wlieenay-wheenay , as 
the natives term it is clinging to every rock, even without 
earth about its roots. The Indians hang up this plant to con- 
jure away spirits. 

As the descent, still precipitate, continues, the valley 
widens. The rocks are now crystalline and mica slate, with a 
few veins of quaftz in places. At eleven thousand six hun- 
dred feet there are a few song birds, but no insects. Cuyu- 
Cuyu, at an elevation of about seven thousand feet, contains 
about three hundred houses of adobe and thatch, and here the 
Indian farmers raise vegetables, and huge cabbages are grown 
into veritable trees, like the palm, eight or ten feet high. The 
mountains about this little town are so high that the sun only 
reaches Cuyu-Cuyu after eight o'clock in the morning, and 
some parts of the valley are in shadow at a quarter past two 
in the afternoon. Leaving here the trail descends through a 
valley surrounded by high hills. At seven thousand feet the 
first cultivated orange trees are found, though there is not 
enough soil here for timber. Five leagues further on, the town 
of Sandia is reached, close to the heart of the Coca region. 
The Indians met with indicate this, as their hats are 
bound with sprays of Coca. The scenery here is picturesquely 
varied; from the surrounding heights there are magnificent 
cataracts, and for a thousand feet up the mountains there 
is a multiplicity of trees bearing peaches and other fruits, 


while myriads of flowering plants fill the air with sweet per- 
fume and form a marked and delightful contrast to the previ- 
ous bleakness. 

Another approach to the montana is through northern 
Peru. Starting at Callao, one hundred and thirty-six miles 
of the journey may be made over the Oroya railroad, which is 
a succession of switchbacks and tunnels. Beyond the fertile 
delta of Lima there are vast fields of sugar cane until Chosica 
is reached, thirty-three and a half miles from Callao, at an 
altitude of two thousand eight hundred and thirty-two feet. 
This region is above the fogs of the coast, and is so full of 
perpetual sunshine as to be regarded as a health resort. In 
all available places irrigation is carried on, and alfalfa, corn, 
sugar cane and large quantities of fruit are grown. From here 
donkeys and llamag compete with the railroad in carrying 
eggs, provisions, fowls, coffee and Coca to Lima. Further east 
beyond San Bartolome the steepest grade of the road begins, 
rising four feet in a hundred and winding in horse-shoe curves 
about the barren rocks. At Veruggas, spanning the Rimac, 
a bridge is crossed which is three hundred feet high. The 
name is derived from a peculiar disorder occurring in this, 
locality, caused, as the Indians believe, from drinking the 
agua de Verugga from certain springs. The symptoms are 
first manifest by a sore throat and general aching, accom- 
panied by an elevation of temperature. Within a few 
days an eruption of pimples appears, soon becoming bloody 
warts, which exhausts the strength of the patient. The work- 
men who built this bridge died by thousands from this disease. 
The Oroya railroad is unique in its consumption of petro- 
leum as fuel, which was made practical in 1890 through the 
ingenuity of Mr. Herbert Tweedle, and has resulted in a sav- 
ing of seventy-five per cent. Along this line in every available 
place are the remains of Incan terraces built upon the barren 
rocks, for it is all rock here, and even the road bed is of this 
same substantial nature. Far down in the valley may be seen 
a muddy little stream which is the Rimac, while here and there 
are small patches of pasture, with a few Indian huts. For 
many years the mining town of Chicla was the terminus of this 


road. Here are large smelting works, and silver is sent in 
bars to Lima, where it is minted or shipped abroad. Above 
14,000 feet the crest of the Cordillera is tunneled at Mount 
Meiggs named after the American contractor who built the 
Peruvian railroads and the descent is made to the terminus 
at Oroya. From here there are two highways, one a good 
road for hauling minerals extends to the famous mining town 
of Cerro de Pasco, where there are hundreds of mines still 
worked, and on to the Coca region of the northern montaiia. 
The other road extends south through the valley formed by 
the western cordillera and the Andes proper to Jauja and 

In the northern part of Peru, between the Cordilleras the 
tributaries of the Amazon form broad valleys having a tropical 
luxuriance, which is subdued by the modulation of the great 
altitude into a temperature of everlasting summer. The 
Maranon rises in a split of the first chain of the western 
Cordilleras, flowing north and thence through a cleft at Pongo 
de Manseriche, in which valley commences the northern mon- 
taiia. From Oroya going east and crossing the Andes proper 
at about ten thousand to eleven thousand feet, the head waters 
of the Perene, a branch of the Ucayali, is reached, which in its 
upper waters is called Chanchamayo. 11 There is an English 
colony here, where coffee is extensively grown. At Bellavista, 
at an elevation of one thousand five hundred feet, the Mara- 
non leaves the Andes. From here the river flows on through the 
great Amazonian plain three thousand miles to the sea, having 
a fall of about six inches to the mile. The valley of the Mara- 
non is two miles wide, the river varying from a volume of a 
hundred yards across to a network of channels half a mile in 
extent. In the rainy season the river rises five or six feet and 
floods the lowlands. Bellavista consists of a few shabby houses 
of adobe surrounding the public square, in which is the 
cathedral and principal shops. The lands here all belong to 
the municipality, and are worked in community on the old 
Incan order, being allotted to the people rent free, who in 
exchange are obliged to give their services to the public good 

11 Mayo is Quichua for water. 


in repairing roads or buildings, and acting as messengers. 
Some of the finest chocolate in the world comes from this 
region, and Coca of fine quality is grown. Wheat bread is 
too great a luxury for ordinary consumption here, and even 
the well-to-do use bananas as a substitute; indeed chocolate, 
bananas and Coca constitute about the only available food. 
Such fertile places afford an agreeable relief from the barren 
bleakness of the mountains, in fact to the Andean traveller 
there is always encouragement to struggle on to the realiza- 
tion of more delightful scenes beyond. In this respect the 
journey across the Andes, though severe and trying, so far 
excels the ascent of ^Etna, Vesuvius, or the Matterhorn, made 
merely for the gratification of an idle curiosity, or simply to 
test the powers of endurance. In one case there is constant 
ascent into bleak and dreary regions, where one is obliged to 
sleep with the prospect of being frozen to death or precipi- 
tated into some icy crevasse for the mere hope of being en- 
abled to see the early rising sun or to gaze into the depths 
of some sulphurous crater, while in the other there is the 
consciousness of bright and ever-blooming fields beyond, of 
verdant plains and fertile valleys, with a luxuriance of vege- 
tation, which combine to amply repay for the arduous journey. 
The grandeur of some of the Andean plains is unequaled 
elsewhere on the globe. Separating profound ravines filled 
with a wealth of verdure are lofty ridges, while beyond are 
long valleys, and surrounding all are snowy peaks backed 
by a sky of intense blue. In such a plateau and amidst such 
surroundings and advantages, at an altitude of 12,000 feet, is 
the beautiful valley of Vilcamayu, running northwest and 
southeast. Here was the site of foundation of the Incan 
empire here is the city of Cuzco and here were built the 
palaces of the Incas, and their terraced gardens and im- 
pregnable fortresses. In the neighboring hills may be seen 
vast flocks of sheep and alpacas, cropping the coarse ychu 
grass, while across the stillness comes a faint piping, which 
directs attention* to a long train of llamas, slowly winding over 
the mountain bearing a cargo of Coca to the city of Cuzco. 
The air here, though thin, is so pure, soft and exhilarating as 



to at once suggest that Nature has founded an ideal sanitarium 
for all the world. This fertile valley extends to the Vilcanota 
range, a chain connecting the eastern and central Cordillera, 
which abruptly cuts off all verdure, for south to beyond Titi- 
caca is the bleak region known as the CoUao, where all is 

LLAMAS CARRYING COCA. [From a Photograph.} 
[See page 219.] 

barren and desolate, through a section three hundred miles 
long by one hundred wide, where vegetation is about im- 
possible and only occasional potato crops and scrawly quinoa 
and molle trees grow. It is always winter her%, and the cattle 
find their scanty sustenance by feeding on the rushes of the 
lake, which serve many uses, from making ropes, sails and 


even balsas to supplying fodder. Looking east may be seen 
the lofty peaks of Illimani and Illampu, among the highest 
in South America, while amidst these barren surroundings is 
the historic Lake Titicaca, in the southern limit of the Peru- 
vian Andes. 

Lake Titicaca, which is situated in a basin 12,545 feet 
above the sea, between Peru and Bolivia, is irregular in form 
and almost cut in two by the Peninsula of Copacabana. It 
has never been accurately measured, but it is estimated to be 
upward of a hundred miles in length and about fifty miles 
broad at its widest part. Near the eastern side its water has 
a depth of over seven hundred feet, but the western shore 
slopes more shallow, affording growth for rushes, which make 
a home for numerous water fowl. Many rivers go to form 
this body of water, the largest being Ramiz, formed by the 
Pucara and Azangaro, entering the lake at its northwest 
border, while the Suchiz, formed by the Cavanilla and 
Lampa, flow in on the north side, together with the Yllpa and 
Ylave. On the east are the Hijarina, Escoma and Achacache, 
from a low chain parallel with the Eastern Andes, while the 
only outlet for this great volume of water is the Desaguadero, 
a river one hundred and seventy miles long, flowing with great 
rapidity from the southern end of the lake and emptying into 
Lake Aullagas or Poopo, beyond, which the water is lost in a 
marshy swamp through which it possibly percolates to some 
cavernous depths below, and so on out to the Pacific. Lake 
Titicaca is often described as the most elevated body of water 
in the New World, but Lake Aricoma, the bed of which is said 
to be full of gold, and Lake Rinconado, both of which are fed 

RUINS AT TIAHUANACO. [Stiibcl und Uhle.] 



from the glaciers of the neighboring mountains, have their 
outlets here and are at greater altitudes, only exceeded in 
height by those lofty lakes of Tibet, situated almost dia- 
metrically opposite on the globe. 

Some forty miles from the southern end of the lake is a 
vast field of cyclopean ruins which are only to be reached by 
mule back over an ancient highway. There is no tradition 
to link these archaeological relics with the present people, or 
even with the Incas. Here are strewn the remains of two 
large quadro-lateral buildings, monolithic towers and broken 


statues, all of which have been blocked out of vast masses of 
stone with geometrical precision, and often carved with sym- 
bolic ornamentation in relief. The material of these ruins is 
generally hard sandstone, or trachyte a volcanic rock which 
is largely represented throughout the Cordilleras, but which is 
not found in this particular locality. It is presumed that these 
immense blocks were conveyed here by people who had no 
other means of applying force than main strength, from a 
distance of at least twenty-five miles by water and fifteen 
miles by land. Here these masses were set up and fitted to- 
gether with the greatest nicety, the joining of the blocks being 
by mortices accurately cut in the rocks. 

One of the most remarkable of the ruins is a doorway 



carved from a single block seven feet high, thirteen and a half 
feet long, and about two feert thick. There is a fracture across 
the lintel, but the fragment, which has settled a little, has not 
fallen. Above the arch is a frieze sculptured in low relief. In 
the centre is a figure, the head surrounded by rays represent- 
ing serpents, while on either side of this there are four rows 
of figures, very much resembling the jacks on playing cards. 
A similar design occurs so often among the ancient Peruvian 
relics found upon the coast as to suggest a 
common origin. There are forty-eight of 
these figures, each in a kneeling posture, 
facing toward the central figure. All are 
winged and hold sceptres terminating with 
condors' heads, while the figures of each 
alternate row have either crowned human 
heads or condors' heads. It is supposed 
this relic commemorates some homage to a 
deity or mighty sovereign, but of what peo- 
ple or in what epoch is not even conjec- 

These ruins are collectively spoken of 
as Tiahuanaco a Quichua term, which 
tradition says originated through one of 
the Incan sovereigns having addressed a 
chasqui or rapid messenger who had 
come to him here, tia-huanaco "Be seat- 
ed, O Huanaco !" referring to the rapid- 
ity of his journey by comparing it with the 
swiftness of the guanaco, of the llama 
tribe. The style of the architecture and 
sculpture of the Tiahuanaco ruins is decid- 
edly unique, and the exactness of squaring and joining the 
blocks is pronounced to be unsurpassed, even by the famous 
ancient works of the Old World. Many of the walls have 
been destroyed by treasure hunters, or to obtain material 
for building in the vicinity; but the early writers all agree 
in their description of the massiveness when intact. Among 
other ruins are immense hewn stones, thirty-six and twenty- 



[Stiibel und Uhle.] 



six feet long, suggesting the mammoth stones of Baalbek 
in Syria. Here are Cyclopean walls, huge monoliths on end, 
and the remains of many statues, while bits of pottery in- 
dicate that the whole plain was once a burial ground. 
Archaeologists suppose that these ruins point to the exist- 
ence of a civilized race in very remote times, long ante- 
dating the Incas. Other works of a gigantic character but of 


a different quality of architecture are to be found in many 
parts of Peru. Such as the ruins about Cuzco, and the 
megalithic remains of Ollantay-Tambo, in the Valley of Yuca, 
which have been told of in the drama of Ollantay, and 
minutely described by Cieza de Leon. Other ruins are to be 
found at Concacha, near the Apurimac ; Huinaque, at Chavin, 
and at Huaraz. At Quecap, in Chachapoyas, there is a mam- 
moth structure which is said to belong to an early period. 12 

A trip to Cuzco may be made from Sicuani, the terminus 
of the southern railway, one hundred and ninety-seven miles 
north of Juliaca. The route is along the picturesque valley of 

"Markham; 1892. 


the Vilcamayu for about one hundred and twenty-five miles 
by stage. The valley is well populated by a people who repre- 
sent the remains of the Incan race, and everywhere about may 
be seen the relics and ruins of the former empire. The Indians 
are industrious and delight in husbandry. They use a curious 
form of plough, sometimes made from the fork of a tree, or 
again consisting of a spear-pointed implement which they 
term rejka.* This is thrust into the ground by hand while 
women follow and break the clods with a club. Here are still 
met the couriers who carry the government despatches, just 
as was done in early Incan times. Supported solely by Coca, 
they are considered capable of running a hundred miles, a feat 
often repeated. They are a sturdy-looking lot of fellows, who 
appear to be a race^by themselves. 

About twenty-five miles from Cuzco the road leaves the 
river and climbs a steep hill, from which a level valley extends 
to the ancient capital, which is entered through the ruins of a 
gateway of an old Incan wall. Whatever Cuzco may have 
been during the time of the Incas, it is now a wretchedly filthy 
city. The churches, which are numerous, are built on the 
foundations of the old palaces, and everywhere the relics of 
Incan greatness have been employed to modern advantage. 
The once Temple of the Sun is now the Church of the Domini- 
can Friars; the Temple of the Virgins is a convent, while 
many private dwellings are constructed of stone from the 
various ruins. In one of the richest chapels of Quzco is a 
relic which was sent by Charles V. the crucifix of Nuestro 
Senor de los Temblores "Our Lord of the Earthquakes," 
which the Indians regard with great veneration. To the north 
is the famous hill of Sacsahuaman, 13 the fortress of which 
dominated Cuzco and was pronounced by the conquerors, "The 
ninth wonder of the world." Whether this was of Incan struc- 
ture archaeologists are not agreed. The works were defended 
by a line of walls eighteen hundred feet long, formed in three 
terraces, each supporting a parapet. The Spaniards reduced 
these walls, but their line may still be studied. Some of the 

* Illustrated on page 196. ls Sacsahuaman, fill thee, falcon! implying the 

vultures would feast on those who attempted its assault. 





stones forming the wall at its northeast angle were of Cyclo- 
pean size, weighing hundreds of tons. The stones were of 
every conceivable shape, but were cut and dressed with the 
greatest precision, laid without mortar, and fitted together 
with such exactness that a knife blade could not be thrust be- 
tween them. The ruins of Ollantay at Urabamba, about a 
day's journey from Cuzco, are fully- as wonderful as those of 
Sacsahuaman. The chief commerce of Cuzco, which is con- 
trolled by Germans, is in Coca leaves and other tropical prod- 
uce of the valleys, and in the wools of the mountains. 

on opposite page. 

1. Cathedral. 

2. Triumphe. 

3. Companla. 

4. San Agustin. 

5. Merced. 

9. San Andres. 

11. San Cristobal. 

12. Arcopata. 

13. Helen. 

14. Santiago. 

18. Hospital San Pedro. 

19. University. 

20. San Francisco. 

21. Jail. 

22. Santa Ana. 

23. Los Nazarenos. 

24. San Antonio. 

25. San Bias. 

6. Convent Santa Catalina. 15. Panteon. 

7. Santo Domingo. 16. Convent Recoleta. 

8. Santa Rosa. 17. Hospital Santa Clara. 

26. Hospital for Men. 

A. Palace of Manco Ccapac. F. Palace of Tupac Inca Yupanqul. 

B. Palace of Sincha Rocca. G. Palace of Huayna Ccapac. 

C. Palace of Viracocha. H. Temple of the Sun. 

D. Palace of Pachacutec. I. Palace of Virgins. 

E. Palace of Inca Yupanqui. J. Palace of Yachahuasi or The Schools. 

K. House of the historian, Garcilasso. 



"Like Amazons they stand in painted Arms, 
Coca alone appear'd with little Charms, 
Yet led the Van, our scoffing Venus scorn'd 
The shrub-like tree, and with no Fruit adorn'd." 


^M" gave prominence to the 
doctrine of Malthus that organic 
life tends to increase beyond 
means of subsistence, and empha- 
sized a statement of Spencer that 
in the struggle for existence only 
the fittest survive. Among eco- 
nomic plants we have no more 
pronounced example of these laws than is 
illustrated in the Coca plant. It has stood 
not only the mere test of time, but has sur- 
vived bitter persecutions wherein it was falsely 
set up as an emblem of superstition, in a cruel 
war of destruction when the people among whom it was held 
as sacred were exterminated as a race. 




Coca has marked the downfall of one of the most profound 
examples of socialism ever recorded in history, and has out- 
lived the forceful attacks of Church and State which were 
maliciously hurled against it as an example of idolatry and 
perniciousness. These attacks were the outgrowth of a shal- 
lowness of thought, intermingled with the prevalent preju- 
dices of the several important epochs of its history. In the 
earliest literature concerning Peru we trace the beginning of 
this element of superstition toward Coca, for it was presumed 
there could be no good custom followed by the Indians. The 
entire aboriginal American race w r as regarded by the invaders 
as little more than savage devils worthy only of extermination. 
Thus Pedro Cieza de Leon, who wrote at the time of the Con- 
quest, garnished his tales with pictures and stories of the 
Prince of Evil, with whom the 
Indian was inferred to be in 
close compact. 

Cieza was a mere boy of four- 
teen when he embarked with 
Don Pedro de Heredia, in 1532, 
to seek fortune in the New 
World. When we consider 
that the conceptions of this 
writer were only such as might 
be inspired by the rough and 
rugged opportunities which 
camp life offered, it certainly 
seems remarkable that he had 
the foresight to compile so acceptable a journal of the early 
Peruvians. The seriousness with which he undertook this 
task, and his exactitude in recording current events, may be 
appreciated from his statement : "I noted with much care and 
diligence, in order that I might be able to write with that 
truth which is due from me and without any mixture of in- 
accuracies." 1 

Heredia founded the city of Cartagena, in the province of 
Tierra Firma, as Panama was originally termed, and after 

1 Cieza; p. 15; 1550. 

[After DC Bry, 1600.] 


Cieza had spent five years of life there, he enlisted under 
Pedro Vadillo in a desperate exploit across the mountains of 
Abibe and through the valley of Cauca and Popayan. Sub- 
sequently we find this boy historian marching with Robbdo 
and then serving under Belalcazar, until, as the chronicler 
states, "he, too, became entombed in the bellies of the In- 
dians" for they were marching through a country of savages 
who were cannibals. 

Cieza was first intimately associated with Peruvian affairs 
in the campaign with Gasca, at the final rout of Gonzalo, and 
he afterward travelled under this first President of the Royal 
Audience through the interior of Peru. Having compiled an 
extensive notebook of the country and the doings of the times, 
which was to form a connecting link between the Incas and 
the Spanish invaders, he returned to Lima by way of the coast 
from Arequipa, from whence he sailed for Spain September 
8, 1550. The events during seventeen years of travel he has 
recounted in his chronicles with remarkable minuteness. 2 

There was a prejudice and superstitious credulity among 
the Spanish conquerors for all the customs of the Incas. The 
bigotry of the time is well illustrated in a story told of Colum- 
bus. On the return from his first voyage he took with him to 
Spain several Indians, who were baptized at Barcelona, where 
one of them shortly afterward died, and Herrera, referring to 
this nearly three hundred years after, tells us this Indian 
"was the first native of the New World who ever went to 
Heaven," 3 though no intimation is made as to the probable 
destination of the millions of Americans who had preceded 
him. Amidst such prejudices, it is not surprising that the 
Coca plant so prized by the Indians was deemed by the Span- 
ish unworthy of serious consideration, and that it was looked 
upon by them merely as a savage means of intoxication, or at 
best a mere source of idle indulgence among a race they so 
much despised. 

Throughout his writings Cieza refers frequently to Coca, 
though he has not given any very concise botanical descrip- 

2 Part First, published in 1550; Part Second, the Relation of "Juan de Sarmi- 
ento;" Parts Pour and Five are supposed to still be in manuscript at Madrid. 
3 Markham; Cieza, Introduction; p. LVII; 1883. 


tion of the plant, referring more particularly to its com- 
mon use. In the first part of his chronicles of Peru, he says : 
"In all parts of the Indies through which I travelled I noticed 
the Indians delighted to carry herbs or roots in their mouths; 
in one province of one kind, in another another sort, etc. In 
the Districts of Quimbaya and Anzerma they cut small twigs 
from a young green tree, which they rub against their teeth 
without cessation. In most of the villages subject to the 
cities of Cali and Popayan they go about with small Coca 
leaves in their mouth, to which they apply a mixture which 
they carry in a calabash, made from a certain earth-like lime. 
Throughout Peru the Indians carry this Coca in their mouths; 
from morning until they lie dow r n to sleep they never take it 
out. When I asked some of these Indians why they carried 
these leaves in their mouths, which they do not eat, but merely 
hold between their teeth, they replied that it prevents them 
from feeling hungry, and gives them great vigor and strength. 
I believe that it has some such effect, although perhaps it is a 
custom only suitable for people like these Indians. They so 
use Coca in the forests of the Andes, from Guamanga to the 
town of La Plata. The trees are small, and they cultivate 
them with great care, that they may yield the leaf called Coca. 
They put the leaves in the sun, and afterwards pack them in 
little narrow bags containing a little more than an arroba each. 
This Coca was so highly valued in the years 1548, '49, '50 and 
'51 that there was not a root nor anything gathered from a 
tree, except spice, which was in such estimation. In those 
years they valued the repartimientos of Cuzco, La Paz and 
Plata at eighty thousand dollars, more or less, all arising from 
this Coca. Coca was taken to the mines of Potosi for sale, an3 
the planting of the trees and picking of the leaves was carried 
on to such an extent that Coca is not now worth so much, but 
it will never cease to be valuable. There are some persons in 
Spain who are rich from the produce of this Coca, having 
traded with it, sold and resold it in the Indian markets." 4 

The Incas regarded Coca as a symbol of divinity, and 
originally its use was confined exclusively to the royal family. 

*Cieza; p. 352; 1550. 



The sovereign could show no higher mark of esteem than to 
bestow a gift .of this precious leaf upon those 
whom he wished to endow with an especial mark 
of his imperial favor. So when neighboring 
tribes who had been conquered by 
the Incas, acknowledged their sub- 
jection and allegiance, their chiefs 
were welcomed with the rank of 
nobles to this new alliance and ac- 
corded such honors and hospitali- 
ties as gifts of rich stuffs, women 
and bales of Coca might impress. 

At the time of Mayta Ccapac 
the fourth Inca, his queen was 
designated Mama Coca "the 
mother of Coca," as the most sacred 
title which could be bestowed upon 
her. From so exalted a considera- 
tion of the plant by royal favor, it 
was but a natural sequence that the 
mass of the people should regard 
Coca as an object for adoration 
worthy to be deemed "divine." 

Cristoval Molina, a priest at the 
hospital for the natives at Cuzco, from 
whose work 5 we have drawn our account 
of the rites and festivals of the Incas, 
has related the method of using Coca by 
the high priests in conducting sacrifices. 
Just as Cieza,. with the material instinct 
of the soldier, saw only the physical or 
superstitious element in the use of Coca 
among the Indians, so this priest traced 
for us its spiritual association with the 
ceremonies of the people. Thus there 
was early interwoven the "factors of a 
of superstition, a popular 


[After De Bry, 1600.] prejudice 

Molina; 1570. 


adoration of the masses, and a blending of these with a re- 
ligious regard for Coca, for the teachings of the Church 
were engrafted upon existing customs in order to hold the 

The first scientific knowledge of Coca published in Europe 
was embodied in the writings of Nicolas Monardes, 6 a physi- 
cian of Seville, in 1565, from material possibly gained from 
Cieza, though it would seem that he had intimately examined 
the Coca shrub. A translation of this work was made a few 
years later by Charles 1'Ecluse 7 a botanist and director of 
the Emperor's Garden at Vienna which was published in 
Latin at Antwerp, and this is often quoted as the earliest bo- 
tanical reference to Coca. The Kew Library possesses a 
translation of this book, "made into English" by John Framp- 
ton and printed in black letter with the curious title : "Joy- 
ful News out of the Newe Founde Worlde, wherein is de- 
clared the Virtues of Hearbes, Treez, Oyales, Plantes and 

As showing the discernment in this botanical description 
of Coca made so many years ago, it may not be uninteresting 
to read a paragraph translated from the very language of 
Monardes : 

"This plant Coca has been celebrated for many years 
among the Indians, and they sow and cultivate it with much 
care and industry, because they all apply it daily to their use 
and pleasure. * * * It is indeed of the height of two 
outstretched arms, its leaves somewhat like myrtle, but larger 
and more succulent and green (and they have, as it were, drawn 
in the middle of them another leaf of similar shape) ; its fruit 
collected together in a cluster, which, like myrtle fruit, be- 
comes red when ripening and of the same size, and when quite 
ripe it is black in color. When the time of the harvest of the 
leaves arrives, they are collected in baskets with other things 
to make them dry, that they may be better preserved, and may 
be carried to other places." 

This description will hold equally good to-day. The pecu- 
liar leaf within a leaf arrangement formed by the curved lines 

"Monardes; 1580. 7 Lat. Carolus Clusius; 1582. 


running on either side of the midrib, being a marked char- 
acteristic of Coca. 

When Hernando Pizarro returned to the court of his 
king, with the first fruits of the golden harvest from the New 
World, he probably took with him specimens of Coca. This 
plant could not have failed to have awakened at least the curi- 
osity of the invaders, because of the numerous golden dupli- 
cations of the Coca shrub and of its leaf that had been found 
in the gardens of the Temples of the Sun, at Cuzco and else- 
where among the royal domains of the Incas. So that what- 
ever the prejudices may have been regarding the use to which 
Coca was put by the Indians, these golden images at least 
would prove sufficient to excite admiration and comment. 

Another voluminous writer upon the early Peruvians is 
Joseph de Acosta, a Jesuit missionary who made a passage 
across the Atlantic in 1570, which he assures us: "would 
have been more rapid if the mariners had made more sail." 
After his arrival at Lima he crossed the Andes by the lofty 
pass of Pariacaca to join the Viceroy Toledo, with whom he 
visited every province. In the higher altitudes of the moun- 
tains the party suffered severely from the effects of the rarefied 
atmosphere, with which he was afterwards prostrated upon 
three successive occasions, while he also was severely annoyed 
from snow blindness, for which he relates a homely remedy 
offered him by an Indian woman, who gave him a piece of the 
flesh of the vicuna, saying, "Father, lay this to thine eyes, and 
thou shalt be cured." He says: "It was newly killed and 
bloody, yet I used the medicine, and presently the pain ceased, 
and soon after went quite away." 

Father Acosta was a man of great learning, an intelligent 
observer, and had exceptional opportunities for collecting his 
information. His work on the Natural History of the Indies 
ranks among the higher authorities. He has given a very ex- 
tensive description of Coca, and, referring to its employment, 
says: "They bring it commonly from the valleys of the 
Andes, where there is an extreme heat and where it rains con- 
tinually the most part of the year, wherein the Indians endure 
much labor and pain to entertain it, and often many die. For 


that they go from the Sierra and colde places to till and 
gather them in the valleys ; and therefore there has been great 
question and diversity of opinion among learned men whether 
it were more expedient to pull up these trees or let them grow, 
but in the end they remained. The Indians esteemed it much, 
arid in the time of the Incas it was not lawful for any of the 
common people to use this Coca without license from the Gov- 
ernor. * * They say it gives them great courage,, and 
is very pleasing unto them. Many grave men hold this as a 
superstition and a mere imagination. For my part, and to 
speak the truth, I persuade not myself that it is an imagina- 
tion, but contrawise I think it works and gives force and 
courage to the Indians, for we see the effects which cannot be 
attributed to imagination, so as to go some days without meat, 
but only a handful of Coca, and other like effects. The sauce 
wherewith they do eat this Coca is proper enough, whereof I 
have tasted, and it is like the taste of leather. The Indians 
mingle it with the ashes of bones, burnt and beat into powder, 
or with lime, as others affirme, which seemeth to them pleasing 
and of good taste, and they say it doeth them much good. 
They willingly imploy their money therein and use it as 
money; yet all these things were not inconvenient, were not 
the hazard of the trafficke thereof, wherein so many men are 
occupied. The Lords Yncas used Coca as a delicate and royall 
thing, which they offered most in their sacrifice, burning it in 
honor of their idols." Again, when speaking of the impor- 
tance of the trade in Coca, he says: "It seems almost fabu- 
lous, but in truth the trafficke of Coca in Potosi doth yearly 
amount to above half a million of dollars; for that they use 
four score and ten or four score and fifteen thousand baskets 


every year. 

This extensive mining centre in the southern part of Bo- 
livia is some three hundred miles south of Sandia, which is to- 
day the very heart of the Coca region of Caravaya. These 
mines were at an altitude of seventeen thousand feet, and 
Garcilasso says the Indians applied the term Potosi, literally a 
hill, to all hills. In the Aymara tongue Potosi means, "he 

8 Acosta; Book I, p. 245; 1590. 



who makes a noise," and the Indians have a legend which 
suggests the derivation of the name from such a source. "When 
Iluayna Ccapac caused his people to search this mountain 
for silver, a great noise came from the hills warning the In- 
dians away, as the protecting genius destined these riches for 
other masters. Within a short time after the Incas had dis- 
covered silver here over seven thousand Indians were at work 
mining the precious ore. 

[From a Photograph.'] 

The Spaniards were not slow to 
recognize this vast store of treasure, 
and in their haste to accumulate tha 
wealth which they had come so far to 
secure they forced the Indians to labor 
in veritable slavery through an enact- 
ment which drafted a certain number 

from each of the adjoining provinces. This law, known as 
the mitta, instituted under Toledo, required all Indians be- 
tween the ages of eighteen and fifty to contribute a certain 
labor, which amounted to eighteen months during the thirty- 
two years in which they were liable. For this they were paid 


twenty reals a week, and a half real additional for every 
league distant from the village of Potosi. During the year 
1573 the draft of Indians for this labor amounted to 11,199, 
while a hundred years later in 1673 it drew only 1,674, 
showing that cruelty and hardship had depopulated the prov- 
ince nearly ninety per cent. 

So extensive were the mining operations at Potosi that the 
place had the appearance of a great city. Every Saturday the 
silver was melted down and the royal fifth was set aside for 
the Spanish crown, and although this amounted during the 
years 1548 to 1551 to three million ducats, it was considered 
the mines were not well worked. In those times the markets 
or fairs were important functions, and that of Potosi was 
looked upon as the greatest in the world. It was held in the 
plains near the town, and there the transactions in one day 
were said to amount to from twenty-five to thirty thousand 
golden pesos, Coca being a prominent commodity in the reck- 
oning, owing to its absolute necessity in the arduous work ex- 
acted from the Indians. 

Because of this need the highest price was obtained for 
Coca in this region, where every indication was presented for 
its use the extreme altitude of the mines, the mental dejec- 
tion of slavery, and the enforced muscular task of the Indian 
with insufficient food. This labor was found to be utterly im- 
possible without the use of Coca, so that the Indians were sup- 
plied with the leaves by their masters, just as so much fuel 
might be fed to an engine in order to produce a given amount 
of work. Garcilasso tells us that in 1548 the workers in these 
mines consumed 100,000 cestas of Coca, which were valued at 
500,000 piasters. 

This absolute necessity was the sole reason for the Spanish 
tolerance to the continuance of Coca; they saw that it was in- 
directly to them a source of wealth, through enabling the In- 
dians to do more work in the mines. As the demands of labor 
increased the call for Coca, situations for new cocals, where a 
supply of the plant could be raised to meet this want, were 
pushed further to the east of the Andes, in the region of the 
montana. To make favorable clearings numerous tribes of 


savage Indians, who had not been previously subdued by the 
Incas, were driven from the Peruvian tributaries of the 
Amazon further into the forests. 

Agustin de Zarate, who was contador real, or royal comp- 
troller, under the first Viceroy, Blasco Xuiiez Vela, in his his- 
tory of the discoveries of Peru, in writing of Coca, says: "In 
certain valleys, among the mountains, the heat is marvellous, 
and there groweth a certain herb called Coca, which the In- 
dians do esteem more than gold or silver; the leaves thereof 
are like unto Zamake (sumach) ; the virtue of this herb, found 
by experience, is that any man having these leaves in his 
mouth hath never hunger nor thirst." 9 

Garcilasso Inca de la Yega as he delighted in terming 
himself has very rightly been classed as an eminent author- 
ity on Incan subjects. His father, who was of proud Spanish 
ancestry, illustrious both in arms and literature, came to Peru 
shortly after the Conquest, served under Pizarro, and after 
the Overthrow of the empire, when the Incan maidens were as- 
signed to various Spanish officers, his choice fell upon the 
niece of Inca Huayna Ccapac, who in some manner had been 
preserved from the massacre which had followed upon the 
death of her cousin, Atahualpa. It seems fitting that a son of 
such parentage should embody in his writings facts which he 
had obtained from both branches of the family tree, and be- 
cause of this his work is accepted as a reliable presentation. 

That this Incan author was well qualified to speak upon 
Coca there can be no doubt, for he owned an extensive cocal 
on the River Tunu, one of the tributaries of the Beni which 
drains the montana for Paucartambo where there are still 
numerous cocals. This plantation was started in the twelfth 
century during the reign of Inca Rocca, when that king sent 
his son with fifteen thousand warriors to conquer the savage 
tribes of Anti-suyu. 

Lloque Yupanqui advanced to the River Paucartambo and 
thence to Pillcu-pata, where four villages were founded, and 
from Pillcn-pata he marched to Havisca, and here in the year 
1197 was located the first Coca plantation of the montana on 

8 Zarate; 1555. 


the eastern base of the Andes. 10 This Incan plantation be- 
came an inheritance of Garcilasso from his father, but was 
forfeited by the historian because of his parent's early defec- 
tion to the cause of Gonzalo. 

The work of Garcilasso is interesting as embracing with 
the relation of others that of Father Bias Valera, whose 
manuscripts have since been lost, and in this embodied record 
we have the only available account of one who was a close 
observer of Incan customs during a residence of many years in 
Peru. To the peculiar wording of the work of this author we 
may trace an oft-repeated error regarding the Coca shrub, 
which he describes as "a bush of the height and thickness of 
the vine." 1 Whether this designation of vine refers to the 
grape, which in some vineyards is grown as a low clump re- 
sembling a bush, or whether the term vine simply alludes to 
the delicate nature of the Coca shrub, can only be inferred. 
It has introduced a source of inaccuracy among some who 
have since drawn their description of the plant from this 
record. One author has even amplified this early comparison 
by saying that the Coca bush twines about other plants for 
support. 12 

Valera, in describing the leaves of Coca, says : "They are 
known by Indians and Spaniards alike as Cuca, delicate, 
though not soft, of the width of the thumb and as long as half 
a thumb's length, and of a pleasant smell." In his day the 
Indians were so fond of Coca that they preferred it to gold, 
silver and precious stones. He has given us a careful account 
of the diligence which is necessary in the several stages of its 
cultivation and the importance of the final gathering of the 
leaves, which he says, "they pick one by one by hand and dry 
them in the sun." He, however, wrongly viewed the method 
of use, and supposed that the leaves were merely chewed for 
their flavor and that the juice was not swallowed. 

Referring to the general employment of Coca for a variety 
of purposes, he says: "Cuca preserves the body from many 
infirmities, and our doctors use it pounded for applications to 
sores and broken bones, to remove cold from the body or to 

i Garcilasso; Vol. I, p. 330; 1872. "Valera; in Garcilasso; 1609. 
12 Ulloa; p. 488; 1772. 


prevent it from entering, as well as to cure sores tha-t are full 
of maggots. It is so beneficial and has such singular virtue in 
the cure of outward sores, it will surely have even more virtue 
and efficacy in the entrails of those who eat it !" Nor did this 
observant author fail to recognize another important use in 
which this famous plant was practically serviceable. A tax of 
one-tenth of the Coca crop was Set apart for the clergy, of 
which he says: "The greater part of the revenue of the 
bishops and canons of the cathedrals of Cuzco is derived from 
the tithes of the Coca leaves." 

There is a marked contrast between the open, conscien- 
tious manner of Valera's writings with that of other Spanish 
authors, who displayed an abhorrence for all the customs of 
the Indians. Thus Cieza, reflecting this superstitious preju- 
dice, tells us that the old men of every tribe actually con- 
versed with the arch-enemy of mankind. Referring to the 
Incan rite of burying bags of Coca with their dead, as a sym- 
bol of support for the departed in a journey to the eternal 
home, he mockingly says, "as if hell was so very far off." The 
good padre, in his appeal for the continuance of Coca, has 
shown a liberality for such a period of bigotry which might be 
well for the consideration of others in even this more enlight- 
ened age. Thus he writes : 

"They have said and written many things against the little 
plant, with no other reason than that the Gentiles in ancient 
times, and now some wizards and diviners, offer Cuca to the 
idols, on which ground these people say that its use ought to 
be entirely prohibited. Certainly this would be good counsel 
if the Indians offered up this and nothing else to the devil, 
but seeing that the ancient idolaters and modern wizards also 
sacrifice maize, vegetables and fruits, whether growing above 
or under ground, as well as their beverage, cold water, wool, 
clothes, sheep and many other things, and as they cannot all 
be prohibited, neither' should the Cuca. They ought to be 
taught to abhor superstitions and to serve truly one God, using 
all these things after a Christian fashion." Surely, an im- 
partial judgment, which is worthy of present acceptation. 13 

"Valera; in Garcilasso; Vol. II. pp 371-375; 1871. 



BORDERS OF INCAN TAPESTRY. [Reiss and Stiibel.] 


Garcilasso lias added to this account some further particu- 
lars made familiar to him through his intimate acquaintance 
with the cultivation and care of Coca. In his quaint verbiage, 
which has possibly suffered through translation, he says of the 
shrubs : "They are about the height of a man, and in planting 
them they put the seeds into nurseries, in the same way as in 
garden stuffs, but drilling a hole as for vines. They layer the 
plants as with a vine. They take the greatest care that no 
roots, not even the smallest, be doubled, for this is sufficient 
to make the plant dry up. When they gather the leaves they 
take each branch within the fingers of the hand, and pick the 
leaves until they come to the -final sprout, which they do not 
touch, lest it should cause the branch to wither. The leaf, 
both on the upper and under side, in shape and greenness, is 
neither more nor less than that of the arbutus, except that 
three or four leaves of the Cuca, being very delicate, would 
make one of arbutus in thickness. I rejoice to be able to find 
things in Spain which are appropriate for comparison with 
those of that country that both here and there people may 
know one by another. After the leaves are gathered they put 
them in the sun to dry. For they lose their green color, which 
is much prized, and break up into powder, being so very deli- 
cate, if they are exposed to damp, in the cestas or baskets in 
which they are carried from one place to another. The bas- 
kets are made of split canes, of which there are many of all 
sizes in these provinces of the Ant is. They cover the outside 
of the baskets with the leaves of the large cane, which are 
more than a tercia wide and about half a vara long, 14 in order 
to preserve the Cuca from wet, for the leaves are much in- 
jured by damp. The basket is then enveloped by an outer net 
made of a certain fibre." 

Referring to the extreme care essential for its preservation, 
this Incan author concludes : "In considering the number of 
things that are required for the production of Cuca, it would 
be more profitable to return thanks to God for providing all 
things in the places where they are necessary than to write 
concerning them, for the account must seem incredible." 

] * A vara is thirty-three English inches. 


Father Thomas Ortiz, who accompanied Alonzo Xiiio and 
Luis Guerra in their expedition in 1499, described the use of 
Coca by the natives along the coast of Venezuela under the 
term hayo. 15 

Antonio de Herrera, who was royal historian under 
Philip II, drew his facts from correspondence with the con- 
quistados, and his history, which is divided into eight decades, 
covers the period of the Spanish discoveries. In speaking of 
the customs of the northern provinces, he refers to "the herb 
which on the coast of the sea is called hayo." 1 The word 
hayo has been shown to belong to the vocabulary of the Chib- 
chas 17 and is generally applied to Coca by several tribes bor- 
dering upon the northern coast of South America. 

Among some of the earlier Spanish writings of this sec- 
tion Coca is alluded to as "hay," and doubt has been expressed 
-as to whether this is identical with hayo, presumably derived 
from agu, to chew ; but the absence of the final vowel, accord- 
ing to a writer who is familiar with this region, does not sig- 
nify, while it is absolutely certain that all the species of Ery- 
throxylon which are to-day used in Venezuela and along the 
Caribbean Sea are termed hayo. Even the Erytliroxylon cu- 
manense, IIBK, is called by this name and not that of ceveso, 
as mentioned in the description published by TCunth. 19 

The account which Ortiz gives of the plant used by the 
Indians of Chiribiche does not exactly correspond with the 
Coca shrub, though what he says of the leaves and their use 
among the Indians is correct. Gomara, in speaking of the 
customs of the Cumana, confirms the account given by Ortiz. 20 
At present Coca is not very extensively grown through Venez- 
uela. The ancient cocals on the peninsula of Guajira are 
becoming extinct on account of excessive drought, while the 
cultivation of tobacco has proved a more profitable industry 
and is better adapted to the climate. 

We know that prior to the Conquest the province of the 
Incas extended north to Quito, having been conquered by 

15 Pierre Martyr; Chap. 6, decade 8; 1530; Ernst: 1890. 

16 Yerva que en la costa de la mar llamm l>nyo; Herrera; decade VI., , Chap. 
6' 1730 1T Uricoechea : 1871. 18 WaHz: AntJirnnolnriic, III, 366. 

"Nova Gen. et Spec. Plant: V, 177; Synopsis III, 191; quoted by Ernst; 1890. 
20 Oomara: p. 72. Chap. LXXIX; 1749. 


Huayna Ccapac some years before for his father, Tupac Inca 
Yupanqui, by which conquest the powerful State of Quito, 
which rivaled Peru in wealth and civilization, was united to 
the Incan Empire. When Huayna Ccapac succeeded his 
father, this newly acquired kingdom became his seat of gov- 
ernment, and here with his favorite concubine, the mother of 
Atahualpa, he spent the last days of his life. 

Because of this removal of imperial influence far from 
the original home of the empire at Cuzco may be attrib- 
uted one source of the final weakness of the Incas, for it may 
be recalled that at the time of Huayna Ccapac's death the 
kingdom, which now extended over such immense territory, 
was for the first time divided under two rulers, one-half being- 
given to his son, Huasca, and the other half to his son Ata- 
hualpa. It therefore seems quite probable that as the interests 
of the government extended northward the customs of the 
people of the lower Andes should follow, and be propagated 
among a people where similar conditions called for whatever 
beneficial influence might be derived from the use of Coca. 
From Quito travel northward, aided by the canoe navigation 
of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers, would rapidly carry the 
customs of the people of the south to the northern coast, 
where, as shown by early historical facts, commerce was so 
extensive as to favor the adoption of the habits of the in- 

There are still many tribes along the Sierra Nevada of 
Santa Marta who have preserved their ancient customs and 
habits from prehistoric times, for it is known that the Spanish 
were never able to completely attain possession of this region. 
It has been suggested that these Indians had never been sub- 
ject to a king as were the Incas, while their country was so ex- 
tremely fertile that when pursued by the Spanish they merely 
destroyed their homes and took up habitations elsewhere, de- 
pending upon a bountiful tropical vegetation for their sup- 
port. In marked contrast to the Indians of New Grenada, the 
Peruvians were accustomed to subjection under their Lord 
Inca, and at the time of the Conquest they were obliged to 
submit themselves to their new masters, for if they abandoned 



their homes and the lands which they had cultivated to flee 
to the barren mountains or snowy plains they must also give 
up their means for subsistence. Piedrahita speaks of the use 
of Coca along the northern coast, and says that the leaves were 
chewed by the Indians without lime, an addition which he 
suggests was carried from the Incan domains to the northern 
Indians by the Spaniards after the Conquest. 21 

The expedition of the French mathematician, La Conda- 
mine, which went to Quito in 1735 to measure an arc of the 
meridian in the neighborhood of the equator, and thus verify 
the shape of the earth, was 
made memorable through a 
host of important scientific 
discoveries, primary among 
which was the introduction 
of many new plants into 
Europe; among these was 
caoutchouc or india rubber. 
Accompanying this expedi- 
tion was Antonio d'Ulloa, 
a Spanish naval officer; 
Godin, Bouguer and the 
botanist, Joseph de Jus- 
sieu, whose name is asso- 
ciated with the classifica- 
tion of Coca. Condamine 
was the first man of science who examined and described the 
quinquina tree of Loxa, of which Linnaeus in 1742 estab- 
lished the genus Cinchona. 

Jussieu travelled on foot as far as the forests of Santa Cruz 
de la Sierra, collecting botanical specimens from the richness 
of the Peruvian flora. Many of his exploratory trips were 
hazardous in the extreme, and in 1749, while crossing the 
Andes to reach the Coca region of the Yungas of Coroico, he 
nearly lost his life. Added to the dangers of the route the 
glistening brilliancy of the sun reflected from the snow seemed 
to threaten him with blindness. In the Arctic region travel- 

21 Piedrahita; 1688. 

[A. J. Stone.] [From a 


lers are subject to a similar discomfort, and commonly wear a 
visor-like protector to shield their eyes. The sun shade illus- 
trated is carved from wood with slots cut beneath the peak to 
permit of vision. 

Jussieu sent specimens of the Coca shrub to Paris, and 
these, examined and described by the explorer's brother An- 
toine, were afterward preserved in the herbarium of the Mu- 
seum of Natural History there, and have served as classic ex- 
amples of many subsequent studies of the plant. But the glory 
of meritorious labor pursued through great trial and privation 
was not to be enjoyed by this explorer. Just as many another 
collector before and since his time has suffered the loss of treas- 
ures when work was about completed, so this intrepid botanist 
lost the choice gatherings of fifteen years through robbery, 
under the belief that his boxes contained a more merchantable 
wealth than plants. In 1771, after an absence of thirty-four 
years, Jussieu w r as taken home, bereft of reason, as a result not 
alone of hardships, but from that unfulfilled desire which 
makes the soul sick, and he died in France, leaving many 
manuscripts, which are still unpublished. 

The Jussieus were a family of botanists for several genera- 
tions; contemporary with them were several noted naturalists 
who followed their classification. Among these, Augustin 
Pyrame Candolle, of the College of France, and Antonio Jose 
Cavanilles, a Spanish ecclesiastic, each described Coca from 
the examples which had been sent by Joseph. 

Many interesting accounts have been written of the ex- 
pedition of La Condamine, 22 and as a result of these early re- 
searches several of the powers have been prompted to send 
botanical expeditions to the South American forests. Among 
these there is given in the writings of Captain Don Antonio 
d'Ulloa a brief account of the country of Popayan, in the 
jurisdiction of Timana. While following Father Valera's 
description of Coca, he adds : "It grows on a weak stem, which 
for support twists itself around another stronger vegetable 
like a vine. * * * The use the Indians make of it is for* 
chewing:, mixing it with chalk or whitish earth called mambi. 

== Condamine; 1745. 23 Spelled monbi by Delano; 1817. 


They put into their mouths a few Coca leaves and a suitable 
portion of mambi, and chewing these together, at first spit 
out the saliva which that mastication causes, but afterwards 
swallow it, and thus move it from one side of the mouth to 
the other till its substance be quite derived, then it is thrown 
away, but immediately replaced by fresh leaves." 

He confounds Coca with betel, saying: "It is exactly the 
same as the betel of the East Indies. The plant, the leaf, the 
manner of using it, its qualities, are all the same, and the 
eastern nations are no less fond of this betel than the Indians 
of Peru and Popayan are of their Coca; but in other parts of 
the province of Quito, as it is not produced, so neither is it 
used." But he was conscious of the physiological effects of 
Coca from its employment, and wrote: "This herb is so nu- 
tritious and invigorating that the Indians labor whole days 
without anything else, and on the want of it they find a decay 
in their strength. They also add that it preserves the teeth 
sound and fortifies the stomach." 24 

The early writings upon Coca were not, however, all of 
foreign authorship. Peru numbered among her men of letters 
a noted physician and statesman who drew his facts from a 
keen observation of the people of whom he wrote. I refer to 
Dr. Don Hipolito Unanue, of Tacna, whose name is inti- 
mately linked with the political and educational history of 
Peru. He published the Mercurio Peruano, the first number 
of which appeared in January, 1791, a paper which gave an 
impetus to the writings of his countrymen, in which there are 
many interesting details of Peruvian customs. 

From his political interests in a land where insurrection 
was a common occurrence, Dr. Unanue could appreciate the 
advantage possible from the use of Coca in the army. He tells 
an incident of the siege of La Paz, in 1771, when the inhabi- 
tants, after a blockade of several months, during a severe win- 
ter, ran short of provisions and were compelled to depend 
wholly upon Coca, of which happily there was a stock in the 
city. This apparently scanty sustenance was sufficient to ban- 
ish hunger and to support fatigue, while enabling the soldiers 

s'Ulloa: Pinkerton; Vol. XIV, p. 448; 1813. 


to bear the intense cold. During the same war a body of 
patriot infantry, obliged to travel one of the coldest plateaus 
of Bolivia, found itself deprived of provisions while advancing 
in forced marches to regain the division. On their arrival 
only those soldiers were in condition to fight who had from 
childhood been accustomed to always carry with them a pouch 
of Coca. 25 

That early prejudice is difficult to eradicate, is shown in 
the writings of some who, having given the facts of the use of 
Coca, then seem to apologetically qualify their reference to its 
support as a mere delusion. Thus Dr. Barham, writing of 
Coca in 1795, says : "This herb is famous in the history of 
Peru, the Indians fancying it adds much to their strength. 
Others affirm that they use it for charms. Fishermen also put 
some of this herb to their hook when they can take no fish, and 
they are said to have better success therefor. In short, they 
apply it to so many uses, most of them bad, that the Spaniards 
prohibit the use of it, for they believe it hath none of these ef- 
fects, but attribute what is done to the compact the Indians 
have with the devil/'' 26 

But if there was prejudice on the part of the Spanish 
against native customs, the Indians resorted in kind with an 
equal antipathy against all Spanish innovations. This has 
been exhibited in the strong objection which the Indians have 
made to using cinchona bark. Humboldt, who forms the 
connecting link between the eighteenth and nineteenth cen- 
turies in our history of Coca, has referred to this, as have 
several other observers. It is quite probable, however, that 
this was a pretended prejudice openly expressed, while secret- 
ly the Indians acknowledged the benefits of the bark, which 
the story of its introduction relates as having been presented 
to the Countess of Chinchon by a descendant of the Incas. 27 

Humboldt traveled extensively through the province of 
Popayan in 1801. In describing the use of Coca among the 
early inhabitants he asserted that several species of Erytlirox- 
ylon were in use, chiefly E. Hondense. His conception of the 
benefit of Coca, however, \vas confined to a belief that it was 

2 5 Unanue; 1794. 2 Barham; 1795. 27 Markham; 1874. 



the lime rather than the leaf which formed the element of 
sustenance. Since his time so many travellers directed atten- 
tion to the fact that the Indians were supported by some mys- 
terious principle, that European investigators began to ques- 
tion whether this was really due to the Coca leaf or some se- 
cret admixture. The popular interest at the time was well set 
forth by an English writer, who appreciating the importance 
to be expected to a modern civilization from the introduction 
of the method of the Andean, said: "While not yet fully 
acquainted with the secret with which the Indians sustain 
power, it is certain they have that secret and put it in practice. 
They masticate Coca and 
undergo the greatest fa- 
tigue without any injury 
to health or bodily vigor. 
They want neither butch- 
er nor baker, nor brewer, 
nor distiller, nor fuel, 
nor culinary utensils. 
Now, if Professor Davy 
will apply his thoughts 
to the subject here given 
for his experiments, 
there are thousands even 
in this happy land who 
will pour their blessings 
upon him if he will but 
discover a temporary anti-famine, or substitute for food, free 
from all inconvenience of weight, bulk and expense, and by 
which any person might be enabled, like the Peruvian Indian, 
to live and labor in health and spirits for a month now and 
then without eating. It would be the greatest achievement 
whatever a London alderman might think ever attained by 
human wisdom." 28 

In the early days when the traveller crossed the Andes in 
the region of Popayan, he was carried in a chair on the back 
of an Indian. The roads, then dangerous at all times, be- 

28 Gentleman's Magazine; Vol. 84, p. 217, et seq.; 1814. 



came practically impassable in unsettled weather; and the 
journey of twenty leagues from Popayan to La Plata on the 
Magdalena River occupied twenty to twenty-two days. The 
conditions were such as to call forth all reserve of endurance, 
and not only the Indian, but the traveller found relief and 
support during severe trials from the use of Coca. Bonny- 
castle, a captain of royal engineers, in referring to the use of 
Coca by the natives in these journeys, confounds it with betel, 
following the earlier error of Ulloa. 29 

The wonderful endurance of the guides and mail carriers 
travelling through passes of the Cordilleras where a mule 
could not go, has been a frequent topic for comment by many 
writers, and though so often repeated is still wonderful. 
Stevenson, who was for twenty years in Peru, during which 
period he held many political appointments under the captain- 
general of Quito, in describing the customs of the people, re- 
fers to the runners, or cliasquis, carrying letters from Lima, a 
distance of upward of a hundred leagues, without any other 
provision than Coca, just as did their predecessors centuries 
before in the time of the Incas. 30 

The attention of the English people was particularly di- 
rected to this sustenance of the Andeans by the fact that one 
of their countrymen, who became a prominent participant 
in the Peruvian war of independence, boldly announced his 
belief in the support which his troops derived from the chew- 
ing of Coca. . General Miller not only employed Coca in his 
army during the campaign of 1824, but so freely acknowl- 
edged the benefit he derived from its use that he established a 
warm sympathy with the natives, and it became desirable for 
an Englishman travelling through the interior to announce 
himself as a countryman of Miller, when he was sure to re- 
ceive: "the best house and the best fare that an Indian 
village could afford." 31 

The frequent occurrence of similar allusions in the writ- 
ings of South American travellers to the sustaining influence 
of Coca emphasized by repetition the importance of this prop- 

29 Bonnycastle; Vol. I, p. 276, et seq.; 1818. 

30 Stevenson; 1825. 31 Miller; Vol. II, p. 198, et seq.; 1828. 


erty, while happily the developments of time have removed 
the stigma of a fabulous. or superstitious element from its use. 

Among the eminent scientists who wrote of Coca during 
the next decade were Poeppig, Tschudi, Martius and Weddell. 
Eduard Poeppig was a German naturalist who travelled in 
Peru and Chili between the years 1827 and 1832. Poeppig 
was not an enthusiastic admirer of Indian customs, and en- 
deavored to associate some pernicious after effect with the sus- 
taining power of Coca, which he considered comparable with 
opium. In referring to this statement Dr. Weddell a more 
careful observer, held that while possibly there had been some 
abuse in the intemperate use of 
Coca by Europeans, there was 
in no instance the injurious re- 
sults which had been asserted. 
He believed, as many of the In- 
dians had assured him, that 
Poeppig had been led into error 
through generalizing excep- 
tional occurrences 

Perhaps the Swiss natural- 
ist, ^ 7 on Tschudi, who visited 
South America in 1838, has 

been more frequently quoted in KARL VON MAUTIUS. 

a popular way regarding Coca, 

than any other Peruvian traveller. Throughout his writings 
he testifies enthusiastically and forcibly for Coca, not only 
as employed among the natives, but from personal benefit 
in sustaining respiration when ascending to high altitudes. 
He tells of an Indian sixty-two years old who labored for him 
five days and nights without food and with but two hours' 
sleep each night, yet was still in condition to accompany him 
over a journey of twenty-three leagues, through which he 
jogged along afoot as rapidly as the mule carried his master, 
though depending wholly upon Coca for his sustenance. A 
similar experience has been reported by many travellers, for 
this custom is still practiced by the Indian guides. 

Von Tschudi concluded that Coca is nutritious in the 


highest degree. "Setting aside all extravagant and visionary 
notions on the subject, 1 am clearly of the opinion that mod- 
erate use of Coca is not merely innocuous, but that it may 
even be very conducive to health. In support of this con- 
clusion, I may refer to numerous examples of longevity among 
Indians, who, almost from the age of boyhood, have been in 
the habit of masticating Coca three times a day, and who in 
the course of their lives have consumed no less than two 
thousand seven hundred pounds if at the age of one hundred 
and thirty, and they commenced masticating at ten years- 
one ounce a day, yet nevertheless enjoy perfect health." 3 

This testimony is repeatedly added to by observers in va- 
rious sections of South America. Martins, in describing Coca 
as used throughout western Brazil, under the name of ypadu, 
or ipadiij called attention to the wonderful effect which the 
powder of the dried leaves has upon the nervous system, es- 
pecially on the brain, and recommended the adoption of Coca 
among the treasures of materia medica. 33 

Many theories have been advanced, to explain the ability 
of the Indian to endure through long journeys and hard labor, 
without other support than is afforded through chewing Coca. 
It has been suggested that this hardihood and abstinence is 
due to habit and to vigorous development. But on the con- 
trary the Indian is muscularly weak, and while training and 
habit may have much to do with his fortitude, he constantly 
requires the physical support afforded by Coca. Dr. Valdez, 
in writing of the use of Coca or "folha sagrada," as he terms 
it, has emphasized this: "The Indian is naturally very vora- 
cious, and loses his strength when abstaining from the leaves. 
With a handful of roasted corn and only Coca an Indian will 
travel a hundred miles afoot, keeping pace with a horse or 

The researches of Dr. "Weddell, a French botanist who 
went to South America with the scientific expedition of Count 
de Castelnau, sent out by Louis Philippe in 1845, not only 
confirmed, but harmonized the writings of those who 
had previously described the sustenance from this leaf. 

32 Tschudi; 1839. * 3 Martius; 1840. " Valdez; 1844. 


Though his researches were chiefly directed to the study of 
cinchona, his travels necessarily took him through the Coca 
regions. He visited the forests of Caravaya and Sandia, and 
the valley of Santa Ana, near Cuzco, all prolific Coca districts, 
where he had favorable oppor- 
tunity for carefully examining the 
method of raising and preparing 
the leaf for the market. The com- 
mendations and carefully written 
details of this scientist gave a 
marked and added interest abroad 
to the economic use of Coca. 35 

These facts of travellers and 
naturalists have been elaborated by 
the historians, and Prescott, in his 
story of the Conquest of Peru, and 
Helps, in the Spanish Conquest in 
America, have embodied the salient 
points regarding the efficacy of 
Coca, or Erythroxylum Peruvian- 
urn, as the former as well as Miller 
terms it. Mr. Prescott had volu- 
minous manuscripts at his disposal 
in the compilation of his famous 
work, with ample opportunity to 
verify statements. He particularly 
alludes to the assertion of Poeppig 
as to the injurious influence of 
Coca, of which he says: "Strange 
that such baneful properties should 
not be the subject of more frequent 
comment by other writers ! I do 
not remember to have seen them 
even adverted to." 3e 

A scientist who rendered par- 
ticularly valuable service in the in- 
terest of cinchona was the English 

Weddell; 1853. ^ Prescott; Note; Vol. I, p. 143; 1848. 

[After De Bry, 1600.J 


botanist, Richard Spruce, whose name is associated with one 
variety of Coca. He went to South America in 1849, and for 
ten years devoted himself to a study of the flora along the 
Amazon and tributary streams. His researches were varied 
and extensive, particularly in mosses and the Hepaticce. 
Among his collections were examples of twenty or more native 
languages, while the botanical specimens numbered thousands 
of species, examples of which have enriched the herbarium at 
Kew. Dr. Spruce remarked the dependence for support 
which the Indians of the Eio Negro placed in the constant 
chewing of a certain variety of Coca. The powdered leaves 
were mixed with tapioca and the ashes of imbauba cecropia 
peltata as a llipta. With a chew of this in his cheek, he 
said, the Indian would travel two or three days without food 
or without a desire to sleep. 

Though many expeditions had been made through Peru 
in behalf of other powers, it was not until 1854 that the 
United States government sent an exploratory expedition 
under Lieutenants Gibbon and Herndon in search of the 
source of the Amazon. Many facts pertaining to the customs 
of the Indians, and the use of Coca in the districts these offi- 
cials travelled, are embodied in their entertaining narrative 
report to Congress. Herndon, while in the valley of Chin- 
chao, where the cultivation of Coca commences in the northern 
montaiia between the central and eastern Cordilleras men- 
tions a visit to Serior Martins at his hacienda of Cucheros. 
The Seiior told him this quebrada produced seven hundred 
cargas, or mule loads of two hundred and sixty pounds each, 
yearly. The value of such a crop at Iluanuco, estimated at 
three dollars the arroba of twenty-five pounds, would make the 
gross yield $21,840, which, requiring seven hundred mules for 
transportation at a rate of $4 apiece, would reduce the earn- 
ings to about $19,000, though many of the small farms in the 
neighborhood then sold their Coca on the spot for two dollars 
the arroba.^ 

At Tarma the expedition separated, Herndon to follow the 
head waters of the Amazon, while Gibbon was to seek the 

37 Hfirndon and Gibbon; Vol. I, p. 129, et scq.; 1853. 


source of the Madre de Dios or, as it is termed in Quichua, 
Amaru Mayu, or snake river and explore the Bolivian tribu- 
taries. The route led Gibbon to Cuzco, where he had oppor- 
tunity to observe the industry about the royal city among 
cocals which had been plantations ever since the time of the 
Incas. As a rule Coca is grown in a small way by farmers 
who till their own land, but in a frontier settlement was seen 
a cocal which gave employment to a hundred laborers. 38 

There is a legend of the naming of the southern tributary 
of the Amazon by Padre Revello. The savage Chunchos, 
who are much feared in this region, at one time made a raid 
upon a neighboring settlement, killed the Christianized In- 
dians, and destroyed their little church, throwing the sacred 
images into the stream. These were carried to the Amaru 
Mayu, where they rested upon a rock and afforded a sugges- 
tive hint for christening these waters, "Madre de Dios," by 
which name they have since been known. The most invet- 
erate coqueros consider the Coca grown on the tributaries of 
the Madre de Dios, in Peru, to be superior to that produced 
along the waters of the Beni, in Bolivia. These two streams 
have their origin near to each other, between the gold wash- 
ings of Tipuani and Caravaya, but a separating ridge of moun- 
tains causes the Madre de Dios to flow directly into the Ama- 
zon, while the Beni goes to the Madeira River. 

The markets of La Paz are well supplied with fruits and 
vegetables from Yungas 39 on the Beni, and at one time nearly 
five hundred thousand baskets of Coca of seventy pounds each 
were annually produced there. 

Of the wages paid to Coca cultivators who are unfortunate 
enough to be compelled to farm for others, it is related that 
the superintendent of a cocal below the valley of Cochabamba 
in Bolivia, received his shelter, scant cotton clothing, and 
fifteen dollars a year, a pittance sadly reduced by tithes to 
the Church. 40 Yet this man was not happy ! He longed for 
the gay days in his native town of Socaba, where he might 

38 Herndon and Gibbon; Vol. II. pp. 46-47; 1854. 

39 Tuncu in Quichua implies a tropical valley, and Yungas is its Spanish cor- 

40 Herndon and Gibbon; Vol. II, p. 185; 1854. 


indulge in an occasional cup of chicha instead of impersonat- 
ing "the man with the hoe" all day long in the Coca patch. 

An epoch in the introduction of Coca to the medical men 
of Europe was marked by the prize essay of Dr. Paolo Man- 
tegazza, published at Milan on his return after a residence in 
Peru, where he had been engaged in practice. He refers to 
the employment of Coca not only as a medicine but also as 
an article of food, a use not confined to the' rich, like luxuries 
usually, but which, on the contrary, is prevalent among the 
working Indians, who enjoy Coca as a nutriment and restora- 
tive. So that a laborer in contracting for work bargains not 
only for the money which he shall receive but the amount of 
Coca which shall be furnished him. 

"The child and the feeble old man seize with eagerness 
the leaves of the wonderful herb, and find in it indemnifica- 
tion for all suffering and misery." 4 

Contemporary with these writings was the labor of Mr. 
Clements Markham, who visited Peru in 1859, for the purpose 
of collecting specimens of cinchona to establish its cultivation 
in India. This gentleman is a scholar of South American 
literature, and has rendered available to English readers the 
knowledge of the doings of the Spanish conquerors through 
translations of their early writings. His intimate study of 
Incan customs and the affairs of modern Peru, enables author- 
itative statements. 

Of Coca he says: "Its properties are to enable a greater 
amount of fatigue to be borne with less nourishment, and to 
prevent the occurrence of difficulty in respiration in ascend- 
ing steep mountain sides. Tea made from the leaves has 
much the taste of green tea, and if taken at night is much 
more effective in keeping people awake. Applied externally, 
Coca moderates the rheumatic pains caused by cold, and cures 
headaches. When used to excess, it is like everything else, 
prejudicial to the health, yet of all the narcotics used by man 
Coca is the least injurious and the most soothing and invig- 
orating. I chewed Coca, not constantly, but frequently, from 
the day of my departure from Sandm, and besides the agree- 

41 Mantegazza; 1859. 



able soothing feeling it produced, I found that I could endure 
long abstinence from food with less inconvenience than I 
should otherwise have felt, and it enabled me to ascend pre- 
cipitous mountain sides with a feeling of lightness and elas- 
ticity and without losing breath. This latter quality ought to 
recommend its use to members of the Alpine Club, and to 
walking tourists in general. To the Peruvian Indian Coca 
is a solace which is .easily procured, which affords great enjoy- 
ment and which has a most beneficial effect. The shepherd 
watching his flock has no 
other nourishment." 4 

But just as the mass of 
Peruvian manuscript in 
Spanish and native Quichua 
was of little utility to the 
working world until ren- 
dered so by the practical hand 
of the translator, so the won- 
derful qualities of Coca re- 
mained locked as a scientific 
mystery unsolvable by the 
multitude, until it was finally 
released from its enchant- 
ed spell as through some 
magic touch of a modern 

It has been said that a man is created for some especial 
work, and this seems happily applied in the present instance. 
Angelo Mariani was born in Bastia, the largest city of Corsica, 
where a foundation for scientific training through an ances- 
try of physicians and chemists preceded him. But better 
than ancestry is the work that a man does which shall live 
after him. Reared in an atmosphere where chemical possibil- 
ities were daily thoughts while united with these was a 
love for books, and allied art and antiquities it seemed but 
natural that he should experiment on the then much talked 
of Coca of the Incas, an ideal of endurance, interest in 

42 Markham ; p. ?f-2 et seq. ; 1862. 



which the tales of travellers and scientists from Cieza to Man- 
tegazza had only intensified. The problem of the elixir of 
life, so baffling to philosophers since long before the days of 
Hermes Trismegistus, which many now believed was pent up 
in Coca seemed capable of as definite solution as is possible 
through human intervention. Commencing investigation 
with the unmistakable evidence regarding the properties of 
Coca, it was sought to present these in a positive and available 
form, which fluid and solid extracts, or the volatile herb, had 
not uniformly preserved. Experimentation led to combining 
several varieties of leaf, setting aside those which contained 
chiefly the bitter principle since known to be cocaine and 
selecting those which contained the aromatic alkaloids. An 
extract of these blended leaves embodied in a wholesome wine, 
was found to represent the peculiar virtue of Coca as so much 
prized by the native users. 

There is no secret other than method claimed in the pro- 
cess which has made the name of its inventor synonymous 
with that of Coca, though I heard an anecdote related of this 
gentleman who personally scrutinizes every detail of manu- 
facture, that: "after everything else is done he goes around 
and drops something else in." Whether this be so or not, it 
is certain that the preparations of Coca manufactured by 
Mariani are entirely different in aroma and action from other 
Coca preparations which I have examined. These latter 
have not the agreeable flavor of Coca, but the fluid extracts 
are usually bitter and the wines have a peculiar birch- 
like taste comparable with the smell of an imitation Russia 
leather. That this "musty cellar flavor," as it is technically 
termed, is due to the quality of Coca leaf was evidenced by a 
preparation of wine made for me in Paris in the fall of 1898, 
from choice leaves direct from the Caravaya district, which, 
however, were rich in cocaine. 

It seems appropriate in a history of Coca that I should 
say something of the personality of one whose life work has 
been devoted to rendering the "divine herb" popular. It may 
be said that Coca is the hobby of Mariani. It is his recrea- 
tion, his relaxation and constant source of pleasure, wholly 


removed from sordid commercial interests. At Neuilly, on 
the Seine, Paris, France, where his laboratory is located, his 
study is tastefully arranged with rich tapestries and carvings, 
in which the exquisite designs possible from conventionalizing 
the Coca leaf and flower are so artistically used as the motif of 
decoration that they are not obtrusive but must be pointed out 
in order to be recognized. Here he has extensive conserva- 
tories, which are filled with thousands of Coca plants of vari- 
ous species, among which he takes the greatest delight in ex- 
perimenting upon peculiarities of growth and cultivation. 
From this collection specimen plants have been freely distrib- 
uted to botanical gardens in all parts of the world. 

As I had difficulty in preserving appropriate examples of 
the Peruvian shrub for my study, ten choice Coca, plants 
were sent to me from Xeuilly, and these, for proper care and 
preservation, I presented to the New York Botanical Garden, 
while still being permitted to continue my experiments upon 
them. In addition to this courtesy, I have been the recipient 
of numerous favors from M. Mariani, who has generously ac- 
corded me details upon the subject of research not readily 
obtainable elsewhere, and who literally extended the re- 
sources of his vast establishment to the furtherance of my in- 
vestigation. Aside from papers in current journals Mariani 
wrote a monograph upon Coca and its therapeutic application, 
a translation of which by Mr. J. N. Jaros, of this city, has 
been the most available authority for the English reader. 43 

I am convinced no more happy realization can occur to 
this savant than the knowledge that his efforts to render Coca 
popular and available have met with a spontaneous approval 
from representative personages in various parts of the world. 
Entirely aside from any personal interest, a voluminous testi- 
mony has literally showered in from those whose motive and 
sincerity must be accepted as an unquestionable regard for 
recognized merit. Eminent artists and sculptors have painted 
and chiseled some dainty examples which serve to typify their 
esteem for a modern elixir vita?. Roty, President of the 
Academie des Beaux Arts, and probably the most eminent liv- 

43 Mariani; 1888. 


ing medalist, has executed a presentation medal of apprecia- 
tion. Famous musical composers, such as Gounod, Faure, 
Ambrose Thomas, Massenet, and many others have sung their 
hosannas in unique bars of manuscript melody. Poets and 
writers without number have versed the qualities of the Coca 
leaf and the present happy idealization of its powers. 
Royalty has set upon it the meritorious seal of patronage, and 
the modern Church, more liberal than its edicts of long ago, 
has welcomed its use. Only recently Pope Leo XIII sent a 
golden medal of his ecclesiastical approval, for it is said that 
for years His Holiness has been supported in his ascetic re- 
tirement by a preparation of Mariani's Coca, of which a flask 
constantly worn is, like the widow's cruse, never empty. 

So numerous have been these expressions from eminent 
characters of the day, that it has been possible to compile from 
them a cyclopedia of contemporary biography which has al- 
ready reached several large octavo volumes. A brief out- 
line of each notable is given, with an etched portrait, and 
often accompanied by a sketch showing some known forte of 
the individual. Where these are artists their impromptu 
illustrations display a happy humor associated with their 
characteristic touch. The resultant compilations, exquisitely 
printed and bound as an edition de luxe,, are much sought by 
bibliophiles. A short time since, while the Princess of Bat- 
tenberg was on a visit at Nice, she was presented with one of 
these copies, and in acknowledging the courtesy suggested 
that her mother, the Queen of England, would be delighted 
to have one for her private library. In fulfillment of such 
a hint, which was accepted as an imperial command, two sets, 
especially illuminated by Atalaya, were forwarded to Her 
Majesty, who wrote that she considered them among the finest 
specimens in her collection. 

With this first advance in securing the properties of the 
leaf in convenient form for use, came the important re- 


1. The Salon, in Conventional Coca Designs by Courboin. 2. A Corner of the 
Coca Conservatory- 3. Garden Looking toward Conservatory. 4. Plas- 
tic Leather Modeling by Saint Andr6. 5. Conventional Binding by 
Meunier. 6. Coca Nymph by Riviere. 7. In the Palm House. 



[For description see opposite page.J 


searches of Niemann upon the alkaloids of the Coca leaf. 
The work of this investigator was speedily followed by a host 
of ardent experimenters, as is recounted in the chapter which 
relates some of the chemical problems involved in Coca. The 
more pronounced advantages, however, which were to benefit 
all humanity, were not immediately utilized, and for nearly 
a generation cocaine was regarded as but an expensive curios- 
ity of the laboratory. 

In 1884 the attention of the scientific world was suddenly 
concentrated on the remarkable possibilities of the Coca leaf 
through the discoveries of Dr. Carl Roller, on the application 
of cocaine to the surgery of the eye. Manufacturing chem- 
ists turned their attention to the parent plant, for there was 
a desire to make the product now brought so prominently into 
great demand as to be held at exorbitant prices. An incident 
will serve to illustrate its rarity at that time. I was then on 
the staff of physicians at the hospitals of the almshouse, Black- 
well's Island, and through a former interest as a pharmacist 
in the study of Coca, was desirous of obtaining some of the 
new alkaloid. Upon requisition a supply of about a drachm 
of a two per cent, solution of cocaine was sent for use in a ser- 
vice of some two thousand patients. 

Among my classmates, in the medical department of the 
University of the City of "New York, was my friend Henry 
H. Kusby, then regarded as a botanist of great promise, and 
at present Professor of Materia Medica of that university and 
of the New York College of Pharmacy. Immediately after 
his graduation he went to South America on a botanical ex- 
pedition for Parke, Davis & Co., and they forwarded instruc- 
tions to him to devote sufficient time to study Coca in its na- 
tive home. 44 The result of his research is full of interest as 
showing the similarity between modern customs of Coca culti- 
vation, as compared with the descriptions of the early Spanish 
historians. These investigations were chiefly carried out in 
the district of Coroico, of the Yu,ngas of Bolivia. This botan- 
ist was the first to clearly show that : "the best quality of Coca 
leaves, to a manufacturing chemist, means those which will 

44 person, com.; Parke, Davis & Co.; March, 189S. 


yield the largest percentage of crystallizable cocaine, while the 
same leaf might be considered for domestic consumption as 
representing one of the lower grades." For, as he has ex- 
plained : "The Indian selects a Coca rich in the aromatic and 
sweet alkaloids instead of the bitter leaf in which cocaine is 
predominant." 45 Since 1885, most of the writings and the 
experiments of physiologists upon Coca seem to have been 
based upon the idea of a single active principle which should 
represent the potency of the leaf. As is clearly indicated in 
the history which has been traced through nearly four cen- 
turies, this is a false supposition. The qualities of Coca are 
not fully represented by any one of its alkaloids thus far iso- 

4B Rusby; person, com.; 1898. 



"Three Leaves supply for six days' march afford. 
The Quitoita with this Provision stor'd 
Can pass the vast and cloudy Andes o'er." 


EKU is divided into nineteen department!?, 
which are similar to our States. At the 
head of government is a president, the chief 
executive, whose term of office is four years, 
and who cannot be re-elected nor elected 
as vice-president until an equal period has 
elapsed. There are two vice-presidents, 
and affairs are in charge of ministers repre- 
senting the several departments meeting 
together to form a council, the functions of 
which are similar to our Congress. Each 
department is under the head of a prefect, 
and is sub-divided into provinces under sub-prefects, while 
these are divided into districts each in charge of a curaca 
governor under whom are the alcaldes, who look after the 
best interest of themselves the governor and lesser villagers. 
The alcaldes, who are commonly Indians, belong to a class 
of very consequential chaps, exceedingly proud of their posi- 




tion. They carry a staff of office, a sort of long walking 
stick, with a large copper head and copper ferrules around 
the stick, which indicate their years of service. Every 
alcalde has a half dozen or more henchmen under him ; these 
each carry a staff of office and collect the Indians when neces- 
sary for any designated labor, to which all are obliged to go 
when assigned, at a pay agreed 
upon by the governor, an in- 
dividual who not .only ar- 
ranges the terms, but often 
pockets the fees as well. 

The present people of Peru 
comprise foreigners, Creoles 
who are native born, Indians, 
mestizos who are part Indian, 
negroes, mulattos, and zambos 
part Indian, and part negro. 
The upper class is mainly of 
pure Spanish blood, and, as 
indicated by their names, 
their ancestry represented 
every part of Spain. Some of 
the Indians are of Incan stock, 
from which the native pride 
always endeavors to trace an 
ancient lineage. Indians are 
often spoken of collectively, 
but in Peru there are several 

types under this designation, each of which is wholly distinct 
from the other in feature, color and characteristics. Like the 
absolute variation of climate which this land displays in ac- 
cordance with locality, so the Peruvian Indians vary with 
their environment, but the real difference is dependent upon 
heredity. There are the Cholas of the coast, and the Serranos 
or Indios de la Sierra or Cholas de la Sierra, living in 
the mountains. These are both civilized and more or less edu- 
cated ; then there are the savage Indians Indios silvesiros, 
literally wood Indians located east of the Andes, upon 

[From a Photograph.] 


tributaries of the Amazon. The term Chunchos or Antis 
usually covers all of this latter class, although there are many 
small tribes with differing names and customs. The savage 
Indians are very much feared, having resisted all efforts to 
civilize them, being "no Christianos," as the Andeans say 
of them. They are not very often seen, but occasionally make 
their presence known near the banks of some of the rivers. 
They wander about perfectly naked through the forests by 
tracks known only to themselves, armed with bow and arrows 
made from the tough wood of the chonta palm. They make 
their attacks just at dawn, and come like the wind, no one 
knows from whence, leaving only their depredations to mark 
their course. The women of these people do their hard work, 
and are probably representatives of the original type of the 
fabulous stories of the fierce Amazonian fighters. When 
speaking of the Andean it is the Indian of the mountains that 
is meant, for the coast Indians do not go into the mountains, 
although the Serrano goes to the coast. 

The Cholas are a happy and contented lot. They gather 
in little communities, and are usually busy, either in working 
a small patch for their own necessities or else laboring in one 
of the many haciendas, in the cultivation of cotton, grapes, 
olives, or some of the other products of the valleys. In some 
cases they become a sort of half serf -like tenantry of the larger 
estates, giving a portion of their time and work for the privi- 
lege of a house, for it seems but natural to them that they shall 
always be subservient to a master. As a class they are kindly 
and gentle, not exactly lazy, for they are always busy at some- 
thing, but listless and without ambition, while their wants are 
easily satisfied. Maize and potatoes in varied form, with some 
few vegetables and fruits, constitute their commoner articles 
of food, though they are not averse to a liberal dietary when oc- 
casion permits, and will relish a meal of fowl, beef, mutton, 
goat, or even their favorite guinea pig. Frugal as their meth- 
ods of living may be, the same spirit of hospitality cultivated in 
Incan times is still spontaneous between themselves and to- 
wards those whites whom they like, though in this latter case 
it is always with the humility of a servant to his master. 


The Indians delight to participate in the numerous festi- 
vals, which are everywhere frequent among them, for through- 
out Peru there are more fiestas than working days ; and upon 
these occasions not only the villages, but even the larger cities, 
put on gala array, and there is an abandonment of all cares for 
the present jollity. The festival which precedes Easter Sun- 
day is always particularly grand, when fun and revelry runs 
riot, and one is unusually fortunate who is not showered with 
flour or sprinkled with scented water from one of the numerous 
chisquetas, a trick in which the ladies seem to take particular 
delight. On these gala days there are booths established just 
for the occasion, where all the holiday folk dine, for like the 
coming of a country circus in one of our smaller towns, the 
festivities make the women too busy to waste time on house- 
hold duties. These people have a numerous lot of peculiar 
dishes very highly seasoned, which are offered at these times. 
Perhaps it may be the tough goat served in a savory seco or 
stew with rice and sweet potatoes, or the more crisp chicha- 
rones the pieces of pork separated from the fat in rendering 
lard, or salchichones which are what we should denominate 
sausages, or tamales a sort of highly seasoned meat dump- 
ling made from pork and chicken, with an outer paste of 
ground maize, and steamed in wrappings of maize leaves. 
Then there is the stew of beef in a salsa picante, seasoned hotly 
with aji, or the more tempting churasco a fried steak pre- 
pared with onions and served with an egg, suited as an ap- 
petizing breakfast for a hungry man anywhere. In many of 
their dishes they use achote, from which annotta is made, im- 
parting an apparent warmth in color, which an unstinting use 
of aji, the native red pepper, manifests in reality. There are 
numerous indigenous species of this pepper, which is used 
throughout Peru in everything eatable. They are sweet, 
strong and far superior to anything of the kind in our mar- 
kets. Then there is the delicious dulces, a sort of guava jelly- 
like preserve of native fruits, so sweet that the eating provokes 
a thirst for water r which suggests the dietetic maxim : "Tomar 
dulce, para beber agua." 1 

1 Take sweets in order to drink water. 



On all festal occasions alcoholic beverages in numerous 
forms are not forgotten, and capitas, or offerings of drink, 
are gratuitous. The Indian followers of Bacchus often drink 
themselves into one continuous drunk, that ends only with 
their own incapacity for obtaining more liquor ; and these poor 
fellows are killing themselves from an unrestricted use of alco- 
holics; it matters not so much as to the method as to the quan- 
tity, either raw alcohol or chicha. This latter, which is made 
from corn, has been the celestial drink of the country since 
the time of the Incas, when it was known as acca. To wit- 
ness its brewing would scarcely excite a profound thirst in 
the traveller from more enlightened parts. Usually chicha is 
made in a primitive way by old women, 
who chew the bruised maize kernels, 
the mass being ejected into a vat, when 
it is boiled with water, and then sub- 
jected to fermentation. Notwithstand- 
ing this loathsome means of prepara- 
tion, it has been asserted that the re- 
sultant product is superior to that made 
from the more prosaic method of grind- 
ing the maize in a mill, which is viewed 
by the natives as an innovation, yet 
probably the bulk of manufacture of 
this liquor is now made in this move 
civilized way. The product is a prep- 
aration of varying strength, all the way 
from sour water to a strongly spirit- 
uous liquor. It is sometimes termed 
Peruvian beer, but is really neither 

wine nor beer ; possibly resembling more closely the Russian 
Icwiss, a sort of cider sometimes made from bread. Some 
chicha is sparkling, and the different regions in which it 
is prepared vie with each other in its manufacture by adding 
little extra delicacies to it, such as chicken, which may in- 
crease the local repute. In the primitive method of making 
this drink, where the corn is chewed, there is, of course, a 
probability that the ptyalin of the saliva has some very de- 

[From a Photograph.] 


cided influence in regulating the flavor through its malting 
action on the grain, which would be absent in the more im- 
proved process. In one case the result might yield a product 
more nearly resembling beer ; in the other a more pronounced 
spirit resembling whiskey. 

Chicha was the royal drink of the Incas, and though not 
considered sacred as was Coca, which was always carried about 
the person of the nobles, their doings were often sealed with a 
royal bumper. Thus, when Pizarro established Manco on the 
throne, the ceremonies for his coronation were studiously ob- 
served. The young prince kept the prescribed fasts and vigils, 
and on the appointed day the nobles and people, with the whole 
Spanish soldiery, assembled in the great square at Cuzco to 
witness the concluding ceremony, which was sanctified by of- 
ferings of Coca made by the high priest, and completed by 
pledging the Spanish commander in a golden goblet of spark- 
ling chicha. 

The laboring class of the Peruvian coast is chiefly com- 
prised of negroes, many of whom are descendants of the slaves 
imported during the first years of the Conquest, when it was 
found that the Indians were not adapted to successfully culti- 
vate the then newly introduced sugar, cotton and grapes. 
There are also a number of Chinese laborers who, first brought 
here in 1849, were continued to cheaply supplant the negro 
slaves, who had since been made free, and these China- 
men have fallen into a sort of contract slavery from which 
they cannot seem to escape. There are many German settle- 
ments throughout Peru, together with some French, Italian 
and Portuguese, and many of the larger industries of the 
country are furthered by capital from England and by the 
enterprise of the United States. 

Lima, eight and a half miles from the sea, at an altitude 
of four hundred and forty-eight feet, is situated in a fertile 
sloping delta. The city has over one hundred thousand inhabi- 
tants, a cosmopolitan place, with many and diverse interests, 
and with social qualities manifested through numerous clubs 
and scientific societies. The sanitary condition of the city is 
excellent ; there is a good water supply and well constructed 


sewers, which are flushed from the river, and modern improve- 
ments, such as gas, electric lights and telephones, have been in- 
troduced everywhere, and there are several miles of street 
railways. The churches are numerous, and the imposing 
cathedral is filled with relics; among these there lies in the 
crypt the embalmed remains of Francisco Pizarro. The so- 
ciety of the capital is brilliant and exclusive, the beauty of 
the Limaian ladies being proverbial, while much to the cha- 
grin of the traveller in search of the fanciful, they are clothed 
similarly to the better classes in any civilized community, 
their gowns being even rigorously patterned after the latest 
Parisian models. What an element of disappointment it is 
to go thousands of miles from home and find a continuance of 
the same customs which are conventional ! And yet in this 
picturesque land there is sufficient that is unique even among 
the habits of the better class ; for though the saya y manto of 
earlier days has been cast aside, the ladies commonly wear a 
lace fichu thrown over the head and shoulders, which lends 
charm to a graceful carriage. There are two medical schools 
in Lima the College of San Toribio and La Academia Libre 
de Medicina. Foreign physicians have little repute unless 
they have been educated in France. The capital is well ad- 
vanced in the sciences, indeed, education maintains a very 
high standard in every department, and the growing element 
often displays a cleverness akin to precocity. Lima has one of 
the best appointed general hospitals outside of Europe. It 
occupies an entire square, and the original cost was 
$1,000,000. Twelve wards, each bearing the name of a saint, 
radiate from a great central garden which extends between the 
several wards. There are two public gardens, one devoted 
to botany, the other to the study of botany and zoology. 

Throughout Peru the morals of the people are good. The 
Indians are punctilious in the observance of conventionalities 
in accordance with their point of view. Few of them are 
legally married, for a religious ceremony would be too ex- 


1. General View and Cathedral. 2. The Port of Callao. 3. Calle Mercaderes. 
4. Plaza de Armas. 5. San Augustin. 6. Santo Domingo. 7. San Francisco. 



VIEWS OF LIMA, PERU ; Plate I. [See description on opposite page.] 


pensive; yet prostitution, as we understand it, is unknown 
among them. Here, as in all warm climates, Nature brings 
her children to maturity very early, and at fourteen or fifteen 
years some of these Indian girls are quite pretty, with the 
actual large gazelle-like eyes so often quoted, perfect teeth, 
glossy black hair, and with the blush of the rose stealing 
through a thin dark skin, while their figures, voluptuous, yet 
chastely molded and graceful, display a wealth of charms 
which only the awakening of physical nature teaches them is 
distinctive. At one of the many fiestas a maiden may meet 
some man who shows preference for her and who later mani- 
fests his love through small presents and. slight attentions, but 
wooings are brief in this poetic land of the sun ; the parents 
are consulted as a matter of course, just as during the old 
Incan days. If they give their consent to a union, all well 
and good, but should they oppose it the would-be husband 
takes his bride-elect to his home, where she is recognized as 
his wife, and from thenceforth his dominion over her is su- 
preme, and she will continue faithful to her lord and master. 

The Catholic religion is the state worship of Peru, which 
the Indians accept kindly, for they are greatly interested in 
ceremonies, and religion with them is often only the outward 
and visible sign without the inward spiritual grace. They 
celebrate all the feasts of the Church, and their offspring are 
now named after every saint in the calendar, instead of after 
natural objects, as was the custom in Incan days. They know 
their children must be baptized, while confession seems essen- 
tial, and the sign of the cross appears to them a ceremonial 
which must guard against every danger. A candle burned 
before a saint brings the fulfillment of wishes just as sure as 
a scapular will ward off the devil. They live in the conscious- 
ness that the good see heaven and the bad are burned, active 
consummations, which seem practical to them. 

The chief cities of Peru cannot be outrivaled for churches, 
for one cannot look out of a window in any important town of 
that country without seeing several, while every village that 
can support a cura has a "cathedral" at one side of the plaza, 
the importance of which is out of all proportion to the place, 


and from which bells may be heard in discordant clang- 
ing through almost every hour. Since the days of the 
conquerors the missionary work of the Catholics has been 
so persistently and aggressively effectual that the ecclesi- 
astics still continue a ruling power which it may not al- 
ways be well to ignore, even though they may not manifest 
this power through a personal goodness. Some of these 
spiritual instructors neither display the abstemiousness nor 
that rigid celibacy which was so markedly characteristic 
of the Incan priesthood, and often the village padre is 
father to more sins of commission than to those of omission. 
There is almost a constant succession of church festivals, and 
ceremonial processions are very common in the streets. When- 
ever the bishop passes in holy array he is preceded by a bearer 
of a staff of bells, the jingling of which is a signal for every one 
within sight to kneel, a subservience which is rigidly enforced 
by the police. At times bearers go about with little boxes 
with a glass front, under which is a picture or image of some 
saint which has been blessed by the Church. In the bottom 
of the box is a drawer filled with little cotton balls attached 
to bits of string. The glass is kissed as a salutation to the 
image, which is regarded with great veneration, but the full 
benefit from this respect does not become effectual unless lar- 
gess be given to the carrier, in which case one of the cotton 
balls is given in return, and these little tufts are commonly 
worn on festal occasions. At some of the principal festivals of 
the Church small altars are erected in front of private houses, 
and the religious procession passes from one to another of these 
places with appropriate ceremony. At Christmas time there 
is usually open house everywhere, and it is customary to dis- 
play a miniature scene of the manger at Bethlehem, which is 
set out with plaster figures or even simple toys, or perhaps 
among the very poor with merely playing cards. All are wel- 
come on these occasions to the good cheer offered. 

The Serranos are considered direct descendants of the In- 
can race. They are commonly referred to by writers as 
"Quichua," a term not applied to them at all in Peru, but only 
to their language. These Indians of the mountains have been 



VIEWS OF LIMA, PERT: ; Plate II. [See description on opposite page.] 


so much influenced through environment and the heredity of 
oppression that, while their customs have changed but little 
since the days of the Incan dynasty, the race has sadly dete- 
riorated, if we consider the present Andeans as descendants 
of the lower order of the early empire, then it is doubtless they 
are still much as Garcilasso wrote some fifty years after the 
Conquest : "The common people, as they are a poor, miserable 
lot, do not aspire to things higher than those to which they 
have been accustomed." The Indians are naturally reticent, 
and can only be drawn into conversation when they become at- 
tached to a person, but once enlisted they would prefer work- 
ing for nothing to receiving good wages from a stranger. 
They are very respectful, and subservience is inborn, while 
their usual expression depicts a profound despair, as though 
of the hopelessness of the condition of their race; yet, on be- 
ing draw r n into conversation, they often prove good talkers. 
During the time of the Incas it was said that no one was per- 
mitted to enter the presence of the sovereign, or, indeed, to 
enter the royal city, unless bearing a burden as a tokeii of his 
humility, 2 and to this day the poor Indian realizes that he is so 
essentially a burden bearer that if met on the road without a 
pack he seems to feel it is absolutely necessary that he should 
apologize, or make some explanation for his want of a load; 
and even though he should not be questioned, he will tell you, 
"I am going on an errand ; that is why I have no ccepi."* 

These Serranos live in adobe huts which are built from 
blocks made of chopped straw and clay, molded in a box pos- 
sibly a foot square, and dried in the sun, the blocks being set 
and plastered with wet clay. The huts are thatched with the 
long ychu grass, and usually have but one low door and no 
window or chimney. The Incan costume was prohibited after 
the Conquest, and now the common dress of the men is a short- 
skirted baize coat, w 7 hich they prefer either of blue or green, 
with a red vest and black breeches open at the knee, or com- 

2 Salcamayhua. * Ccepi burden, Quichua. 


1. Type of Limenos Beauty. 2. Old Spanish Balcony. 3. Plaza of Santa 
Ana. 4. Chola Types. 5. Chola Types. 0. Bajada del Pnente. 



monjy two pair of trousers which are well turned up. This 
usual costume may be supplemented by a poncho, and an 
additional poncho worn over the shoulders serves to carry 
packages. Their legs and feet are usually bare, though at 
times they wear knitted woolen stockings and sandals. For a 
head covering the usual slouch felt hat is worn, under which 
the Indians of some of the Eastern provinces wear a knitted 
skull cap with long side pieces, which are either tied under the 
chin or left flying. This cap often serves as a convenient hand 
bag for any small parcel they wish to carry. In other prov- 
inces the Indians wear a montero, or velvet hat, having a broad 
brim, covered with cloth and ornamented with tinsel lace 

ANDEAN PLOW OR REJKA. [From a Photograph.] 
See description on page 145. 

and colored ribbons. This same style of covering is used 
by the women, while in some localities they wear an embroid- 
ered cloth lying flat on the head and hanging down behind, 
after the manner of Swiss peasant women. The men wear 
their hair long except in the front, where it is cut off short, 
while the women commonly braid theirs into two long strands 
plaited with wool, which hang down the back. The same lit- 
tle bags known as chuspas for carrying Coca leaves, which 
formed a portion of the vestment of the ancient sovereigns 
and nobles, are still carried as a constant part of the accou- 
trement of the present Indians. The women wear bright- 


colored skirts reaching a little below the knees, and a mantle, 
or lliclla, which is secured over the breast by a large pin, with 
a head resembling the bowl of a spoon, known as, a topus. 
Some of these, in wrought silver, are very pretty and similar 
in design to patterns which have been found in Incan tombs. 
The Indians commonly sing while at their work, and 
some of their love songs, or haravis, that have been continued 
since the days of the Incas, express very pretty sentiments. 
Here, for example, is a verse of such a song, descriptive of a 
lover's return after an absence of many months, which sug- 
gests the elfin god in his travels has not neglected the Andeans : 

"At length, my dove! I have returned 
From far distant lands 
With my heart steeped in love; 
O, my dove! come to my arms." 

The following verse, which is one of four from a chorus in 
the drama of Ollantay, is still chanted by the Indians on their 
long journeys, or at harvest time. It is addressed to me little 
bird called tuya, which commonly eats the corn in the fields, 
the refrain presumably being an imitation of the bird's call : 

"O, bird, forbear to eat 
The crops of my princess; 
Do not thus rob 
The maize which is her food. 
Tuyallay, Tuyallay." 

The Indian mother often quiets her babe to sleep with some 
plaintive lullaby descriptive of the trials and subjections into 
which their race has been forced. The following is often heard 
through the Department of Ayacucho, being a literal transla- 
tion without rhythm or meter, merely to show the sentiment : 

"My mother begot me, amidst rain and mist, 
To weep like the rain, and be drifted like the clouds. 
You were born in the cradle of sorrow, 
Says my mother, as she gives me the breast; 
She weeps as she wraps me around. 
The rain and mists attacked me 
When I went to meet my lover; 


Seeking through the whole world, 
I should not meet my equal in misery. 
Accursed be my birthday; 
Accursed be the night I was born, 
From this time forever and ever."3 

It must not be considered, however, that the Indians are 
profoundly melancholy, for they are jovial, and even addicted 
to a keen wit when they feel sufficiently acquainted to talk 

Although the language of Peru is Spanish, which is gen- 
erally spoken by all classes along the coast and through the 
larger cities, the Serranos continue the Quichua, the ancient 
language of the Incas, which the conquerors termed "La 
lengua general." This remains to-day the most widely spread 
of all South American languages, being spoken not only by 
the descendants of the Incas, but by many of the Spanish 
through the interior. The priests of the large cities at certain 
seasons preach their sermons in this language, while in the 
Indian'villages it is used altogether. 

The name Quichua was first applied to that language by 
Friar Domingo de San Tomas, the first doctor who was grad- 
uated at the University of Lima, in his grammar printed at 
Valladolid, in 1560. The derivation of the word has been 
traced to a combination of the Indian terms, quehuasca, 
twisted, and ycliu, straw, literally twisted straw, possibly sug- 
gested from the predominance of straw throughout the moun- 
tains, and its use by the Indians for every conceivable thing. 
It is a unique tongue, there being none other found in any part 
of the globe of which it is even supposed to be a dialect. It 
lacks our letters b, d, f, g, j, v, w, x and z, the plural being 
generally formed by adding cuna, and the sentence conclud- 
ing with the verb. 4 Quichua is spoken pure in Cuzco, but 
elsewhere is so much corrupted through local dialects that 
what is spoken in one province might not be understood in 
another. The Bolivian Indians, who resemble those of Peru, 
originally formed the Collas, one of the early tribes of the 

3 These songs are froir Mr. Markham's translations of the Quichua in his 
work on Cuzro. 

4 Ludewig, Lit. of Am. Aborir/. Lanrj. 


ancient empire. Their language, known as Aymara, is built 
upon the same general lines. Humboldt called Quichua "ag- 
glutinative," because of the formation of new words by add- 
ing particles as affixes to the root, as in some of the Asiatic 
tongues. A peculiar method of conjugation, which the 
Jesuits termed "verbal transition," consists in incorporating 
the accusative if a pronoun, as well as the nominative into 
the verb. Thus, "I love you," or "he loves me," becomes 
one instead of three words, as "munayqui," or "muna- 
huanmi." Perhaps one of the most peculiar features of this 
tongue is that a man uses a different form of expression from 
that employed by a woman when speaking of the same per- 
son. Thus : 

A brother, speaking of his sister, says panay. 

A sister, speaking of her sister, says nanay. 

A sister, speaking of her brother, says huanquey. 

A brother, speaking of his brother, says llocsimasiy. 

A father, speaking of his son, says churiy. 

A mother, speaking of her son, says ccarihuahuay. 

A father, speaking of his daughter, says ususiv. 

A mother, speaking of her daughter, says huarmihuahuay. 

There is also a difference whether the male or the female 
speaking is related to the side of the father or to that of the 
mother of the one addressed. In this manner entire sentences 
are often expressed by one word, very suggestive of some of 
those German words running across an entire page, which 
Mark Twain has humorously termed "alphabetical proces- 
sions." 5 

The Quichua numerals admit of any combination. These 


1. Hue. 6. Zocta. 

2. Yzcay. 7. Canchiz. 

3. Quimza. 8. Pussac. 

4. Ttahua. 9. Yzcun. 

5. Pichca. 10. Chunca. 

At a period during the vice-royalty it was proposed by the 
Viceroy, Don Augustin de Jauregui, as one means of remov- 

6 Innocents Abroad; p. 611. 


ing discontent and furthering complete subjugation, that 
Quichua should be prohibited, and the Indians compelled to 
speak Spanish. This was found wholly impracticable, and 
instead of rooting out the language it was determined just 
as had also proved the better policy when it was suggested to 
exterminate Coca to improve and cultivate it. Numerous 
grammars were written, and the language was taught in the 
colleges, where it has been continued by regularly appointed 
professors ever since the first chair of Quichua was occupied 
by Don Juan de Balboa in the University of Lima. 

The Incas did not have an alphabet, nor any mode of writ- 
ing, so that their words, first written phonetically by the Jesuit 
missionaries, often show many variations in spelling. Gar- 
cilasso de la Yega mentions certain hieroglyphics used by the 
wise men of Cuzco, and Montesinos, who is not always the 
best authority, declared that in the early ages the use of letters 
was known among the Incan people, but had been lost during 
the reign of Yupanqui. A European missionary found among 
the Panos Indians, on the banks of the Ucayali, a manuscript 
written on paper made of plantain leaves containing hiero- 
glyphics and separate characters, which was said to be a his- 
tory of their ancestors. Rivero and Von Tschudi described 
hieroglyphics cut upon rocks near Arequipa, and also in Hiay- 
tara, and the Province of Castro-Vireyna, and others on the 
coast near Huara, and there are very many such specimens 
found over a wide area. 

Now that we have formed some acquaintance with the 
country, with the people and with the Indians, we can better 
appreciate a trip over the mountains, best done with pack and 
train, in order to study local customs; for while the modern 
means of transit may be more comfortable, it offers little op- 
portunity for either scientific study or even a leisurely view 
of Nature's bounties here presented on every hand. Before 
we can commence such a journey, there are many details which 
have to be arranged. Peons, or laborers, are to be secured to 
care for the baggage, and a piara, or train of mules, with the 
arriero, or driver, must be engaged to bear the necessary 
traps of travel. To get these, application must be made to the 


governor, who notifies the alcalde, and his henchmen round 
up both mules and men. 

It is always difficult, and unless one has considerable in- 
fluence almost impossible, to secure the necessary mules for 
transportation. The cost of hire varies with the district from 
seventy-five cents a day upward, and mules are commonly en- 
gaged with the driver, or arriero, to travel only their accus- 
tomed beat. Hence arrangements must be made for a period 
of time which will presumably cover this journey of usually 
about a hundred miles. The drivers push on to consummate 
this trip speedily, and stragglers must be left behind. 

The proper equipment for the road is a heavy box saddle 
of wood covered with pigskin, with deep knee pads. This 
affair, which weighs about fifteen pounds, is fastened with two 
girths to prevent slipping either over the head or tail. With 
this is worn the pillion or saddle rug of wool, or silk, spun 
into a thick fringe-like fur, lined and faced with leather, which 
serves the traveller as a bed during the journey. Some of the 
finest of these are worth several hundred dollars. Across this 
is slung the alforjas or saddle bags, woven from cotton in 
gaudy colors. In these are carried the clothing and whatever 
is required for immediate use. The food, which must be so 
concentrated that it shall take up but little space, usually con- 
sists of parched corn, cheese, chocolate, spirits and Coca ex- 
tract. With this is carried an alcohol lamp, with sufficient 
fuel to last for about five days. The bridle is of finely braided 
rawhide, ornamented with silver rings and buckles galore, 
and the reins terminate in a long lash chicotc, which serves 
as a whip. The stirrups are heavy boxes cut from a single 
piece of wood, ornamented with carving and silver filigree. 
These are made heavy for the purpose of protecting the feet 
from crushing in the narrow passes, while they also serve to 
shed the rain. Spurs with immense rowels are worn often so 
heavy that they must be supported by a rest attached to the 
heel; their rhythmic jangle makes music for the mule and 
serves to warn a traveller coming from the opposite direction, 
for in the stillness of the mountain they can be heard for more 
than a mile. The armament consists of a revolver, worn con- 



veniently, and a carbine carried at the side, for highwaymen 
who are not Indians, but mestizo outcasts, are a possible feat- 
ure of the lonesome mountain paths. The wraps are a heavy 
woolen poncho, or a padded overcoat, and heavy woolen gloves 
with thickly woven wristlets, which serve to prevent the wind 
from blowing up the sleeves. 

For protection against rain a rubber poncho is carried. 
This is an oblong sheet of heavy rubber cloth with a hole in the 
centre, through which the head is thrust, the folds serving to 

READY FOB THE START. [From a Photograph.'} 
The figure on the left is Captain Zalinski, who invented the dynamite gun. 

protect not only the rider, but the flanks of his mount. Double 
suits of underclothing, paper vests, and fur-lined boots or 
"arctics," are additional luxuries which serve to keep the 
traveller warm in the higher altitudes. At night a leather 
sleeping bag is used, and wrapped in blankets and buttoned 
up in this bag a bed on barren rocks, sometimes softened by 
the fleecy snow, seems a luxury. The baggage is commonly 
carried in small boxes twenty-two by thirty-two inches 
such as are used by the English army officers. When packed 
these weigh about eighty pounds ; one or even two of these may 
be carried on a mule. They are tin-lined, and the edge is set 
with rubber to make a water-tight joint, so that they may be 


completely submerged without the contents getting wet. Sole 
leather, which would seem to be appropriate for such pack- 
ages, mildews immediately when, wet, and is not suited for 
travelling over these mountains. 

But all of this preparation is only preliminary and in no 
way assures the probability of an early start, for having en- 
gaged and even paid in advance for the service, it will be 
necessary to keep a close watch over the individual members 
of the proposed train in order to keep it intact up to the period 
of starting. It has been suggested that the proper way to 
set out on such a journey is to harness and load the baggage 
mules, mount the riding mules, and after a few turns around 
the square dismount and unpack and wait patiently until 
to-morrow to start. Manana! to-morrow. Everything is put 
off until to-morrow, after that usual deliberative Spanish 
habit, which was quickly adopted by the Indians. If you 
should tell these people you intend to leave in the morning at 
sunrise it would be very remarkable if, trusted to themselves, 
they appeared before noon, while before that time even, un- 
less a very close guard has been kept over the train, either 
mules or men may be missing. When the period for depart- 
ure actually arrives the Indians throw Coca in the air, just as 
did the Incan priests of old, to propitiate the gods of the moun- 
tains, who, presumably, do not wish their domains invaded; 
and when by this a successful trip is assured, these people con- 
tinue faithful and persistent, and thoroughly trustworthy. 

From the coast the ascent is usually made through some 
ravine, which at the outset may be thickly populated and filled 
with profuse vegetation. Passing through a succession of 
deserts and fertile valleys the ascent is at first so gradual that 
four days' journey only reaches an altitude of some eight hun- 
dred feet. But from the plain the mountains rise suddenly, 
and when the climb of the western cordillera really begins the 
path is through grand valleys with walls towering for thou- 
sands of feet on either side. Perhaps fifteen miles would be 
the average day's journey, and it is quite impossible to make 
more than thirty miles. The Indians take little account of 
distance or time ; they stop when they get tired, and they esti- 


mate everything by the period that a chew of Coca will last. 
A cocada as it is termed is equivalent to about three-quar- 
ters of a league, or about forty minutes. 6 The path is often 
shaded by willow trees, and sometimes even darkened by over- 
hanging foliage, while the road may be obstructed with droves 
of laden llamas or mule trains. The mules used resemble the 
same sturdy animals that grow in the blue grass region of our 
own country, though of smaller build. They have great en- 
durance, are remarkably sure-footed, and are usually docile, al- 
though at times they may manifest their customary obstinacy 
by an endeavor to rub off their load against a side hill, or to 
lie down just at some unpropitious time. While the arriero 
may ride, his accompanying Indians seem to prefer to go afoot, 
travelling quite as rapidly as the mules do, and aided by an. 
occasional acullico chew of Coca, they retain a freshness and 
vigor for endurance that is phenomenal. They will jog along 
all day under a burning sun up these rugged mountain steeps, 
and will be just as ready to travel at night, which is the time 
often selected, to avoid the intense heat. In the ascent of the 
western Cordillera, which is not timbered, there is no vegeta- 
tion, but there is no absence of coloration, for the sterile rocks 
are of all tints, and here and there is a profusion of wild 
flowers, especially heliotrope. In places the narrow pathway, 
just sufficient for the machos, or mules, in single file, winds 
around some cuesta, or hill, at the base of some immense cliff, 
where the walls tower above for thousands of feet, while below 
there is a yawning gulf into which it momentarily seems both 
rider and mule must be hurled. But one becomes accustomed 
to these dizzy heights after a time, and the grandeur of the 
scenery is sufficient to so engross the imagination that peril is 

The Indians that are met are always busy, not only load- 
ed with the customary burden, but with both hands actively 
employed as well, usually in spinning or knitting. They run 
along at a sort of dog trot, and seemingly never tire, the men 
often carrying enormous loads of barley or wheat which com- 
pletely hide them from view, while the women, never with- 

Herndon; Vol. I; p. 146; 1853; also Raimondi; 1874. 


out the customary baby, borne in a ccepi on their back, from 
which the little round head wobbles about as if it might 
drop off, drive the burro with a miscellaneous load of pota- 
toes, corn, fruit, or mutton, intended for the market. The 
serranos are the reverse of the hospitable and vivacious people 
of the lowlands. They are commonly poor and view all travel- 
lers with suspicion. Their huts are dirty and uninviting, and 
usually crowded in one apartment are chickens, children, dogs, 
cats, guinea pigs and vermin, affording little room for guests. 
They cannot be counted upon to grant any favors, and even 
when letters are brought from the alcalde they must be em- 
phasized with threats. Even when bound for market the In- 
dian will not part with any of his stores while en route. If he 
is seen to have anything in his load which you absolutely need, 
he will not sell it at any price, and is inconvincible through 
argument, so that the only method of acquiring necessities is to 
help one's self and pay what is considered proper afterwards. 
During this enforced sale just sufficient annoyance may be dis- 
played to prompt another chew of Coca, but there is never any 
complaint, and he accepts what is offered as though thoroughly 
well pleased at the bargain. This same peculiarity pre- 
vails everywhere and may have been developed through the 
custom of the Incan purveyor to the sovereign appropriating 
such articles as he chose for his lord, a procedure which the 
invaders did not hesitate to continue. In any case the Indian 
has grown to feel that his superiors will help themselves to 
what they want regardless of any personal expression he may 
manifest, and thinking perhaps with the followers of Moham- 
med "Whatever is, is right," saves himself unnecessary 
worry. The natural reserve of the Serrano extends to an ac- 
tual disinclination to grant the slightest hospitality even in 
their homes, and as a traveller approaches a hut he may 
often be challenged by manam cancha "we have nothing," 
even before having expressed a desire for anything, and 
in some instances before the dwellers have taken the trouble to 
see who approaches. It seems then that one is compelled to 
be aggressive in order to reap those latent benefits and bless- 
ings which otherwise might not be applied to advantage. 




1. Subida del Puente. 2. A Porter. 3. Milk. 4. Bread. 5. Water Carrier 
6. Ice Cream. 7. Fruit Seller. 


As a' higher elevation is reached the air becomes cold, and 
the snow-capped mountains in the distance are seen through 
the clear atmosphere that seems to bring them very near. As 
night approaches, an encampment is made in the open air, 
usually by preference, because of the numerous insects which 
infest every habitation. These are particularly annoying to 
travellers, though the natives do not seem to mind them, and, 
in fact, the Indians often relish them. As one means of pro- 
tection against the multiplicity of these pests, Mature has 
placed here a large, black bug, about an inch and a half long, 
heavy bodied, with an ant-like waist, and with transparent 
wings. The natives call it amigo del liombre the a friend 
of man," on account of its killing and burying all poisonous 
insects. At times it may be absolutely necessary to take 
refuge in one of the tambos, or shelter houses, where protec- 
tion may be found from the cold winds, now often filled with 
snow and hail. Here the traveller, wrapped in heavy woolens 
and fleecy poncho, supplemented by rugs or a sleeping bag of 
vicuna skins, may barely succeed in keeping himself warm by 
the physical exertion of shivering, while his Indians, scantily 
clad, squat together outside upon the frozen ground in some 
sheltered nook, where they apparently rest comfortably in a 
sweet slumber that is uninfluenced by the elements. The In- 
dian squats on every occasion, rarely sitting on a chair. It is 
very much as Gilbert's song of the Admiral in Pinafore says : 
"This is his customary attitude," for he not only squats to sit, 
but he takes his sleep in this way, and even does much of his 
work in this same pose, while his dead body is buried in the 
same position. It is amusing to see the deliberation with 
which these people cut grain with a small sickle ; they do this 
squatting, grasping a handful of grain it is carefully cut and 
carefully laid down. The Indian women squat in the market 
place when offering their wares for sale, while at their weav- 
ing they get still lower and lie prostrate. It has been sug- 
gested that this position is assumed as a means of keep- 
ing warm, but they never are known to display any an- 
noyance from the cold, and are seemingly as oblivious to the 
elements as to the pangs of hunger, a relief they attribute to 


having propitiated the genii of the mountains through their 
constant use of Coca. At any rate, they are sustained by 
Coca in their travels, and it affords them not only callpa or 
force, but warmth and comfort during the still hours of the 
coldest night in the high altitudes. And it is still here, so still 
that one may actually feel the awe of utter loneliness, a still- 
ness which, in the reverberations of the slightest sound, lends 
a profundity to the echo. 

Speaking of echoes suggests the* weird and the ghostly. 
These Andeans are full of superstition, but amidst such crags 
and peaks in the darkness and stillness of the night, with only 
the occasional cry of some bird, it doesn't require an exalted 
imagination to think of spooks and hobgoblins. But it is not 
only at night that the Indian is full of dread, for there is a 
constant possibility that some enemy may cast a sort of ojo 
or evil eye, upon him or upon his belongings, while, if he 
escape this terror, there is yet a dread that chucaque an- 
other mysterious spell, may be thrust upon him. Chucaque, 
they say, is as though a man were made "to feel cheap," and 
as it is often manifest by severe cramp, it not unnaturally 
does make one feel humiliated. These conditions are only 
promptly to be relieved by some curadora, an old woman who 
understands the secret, when, by means of a poultice of mus- 
tard and tobacco, aided by certain cabalistic signs, the evil in- 
fluence is driven out. Similar superstitious beliefs are en- 
twined throughout all the customs of these people. The In- 
dians live to a good old age on the mountains, a fact which has 
been set down to the long-continued use of Coca as a promoter 
of vigor and endurance. At any rate eighty, ninety and a 
hundred years is not at all uncommon here, even though life is 
commenced at so early an age that mestizo girls may be moth- 
ers at ten. 

The Indians in the mountains have an intuitive knowledge 
of physical conditions. They can tell you with unerring ac- 
curacy in the morning, under a clear sky, just what hour of 
the day it will rain, and yet they seem to have no idea of time 
or distance. If you ask an Indian how far it is to a certain 
place he will reply : "Mucha questa" "much up hill," or "just 

HOW IT 18 CHEWED. 209 

a little way." They measure their journeying as they do the 
extent of their labor, by the amount of Coca it is necessary to 
consume to reach a given place or perform a certain task. 

The Indians chew Coca just as they do everything else, 
very deliberately and systematically. The mouthful of leaves 
taken at each time is termed acullico, or cliique, which is as 
carefully predetermined as would the skilled housewife appor- 
tion the leaves of some choice bohea intended for an individual 
drawing. In preparing the chew the leaf is held base in be- 
tween the two thumbs, parallel to the midrib, the soft part of 
the leaf being stripped off and put in the mouth. From the 
constant presence of this quid through many years the cheek 
on the side in which it is usually held presents a swollen ap- 
pearance known as piccJio. It is an error to suppose that the 
Indian journeys along and plucks the Coca from bushes by the 
wayside to chew, for the leaf must be carefully picked, dried 
and cured, and, just as tobacco or tea or coffee has to undergo 
certain processes before ready for consumption, so the full 
property of the Coca leaf is only developed after a proper 
preparation. Usually carried in the cJiuspa, or huallqui, 
with the leaves, or fastened to it outside, is a little flask or 
bottle made from a gourd and called iscupuru." 1 The word is 
not Quichua, but belongs to the dialect of the Cliinchay-suyus 
along the banks of the Maranon. The Spanish authors 
termed it poporo. 9 In this gourd is carried a lime-like sub- 
stance made from the ashes left after burning certain plants 
or by burning shells or limestone. 9 This, which they term 
IKpta* 9 or llucta is intermixed with the leaves when chew- 
ing by applying it to those in the mouth with a short stick 
dipped into the gourd from time to time. After this appli- 
cation the lime left on the stick is wiped about the head of 
the gourd in an abstracted way, leaving a deposit of lime 
which increases with time, for the Indian never parts with his 
poporo. 1VT. Gaugnet presented M. Mariani with a poporo, 
brought from Colombia, a cast of which in my possession well 
represents this formation. 

* Tsw, lime; puru, gourd. 8 Oviedo wrote it baperofi ; Vol. II; p. 286: 1556. 
8 Herndon; Vol. I, p. 132, 1853. 10 Von Tschudi; 1840. Paz Soldan; 1862 



The operation of chewing is termed in Bolivia and South- 
ern Peru acutticar, 13 while in the ]STorth it is called chaxchar. 13 
The llipta is made in different localities from various sub- 
stances ; in the South from the ashes of the algarroba, 14 the 
fruit of which has an immense reputation as an aphrodisiac, 
the mass being held together with boiled potatoes, while in 
the North quicklime is used, and in some of the montana re- 
gions ashes of the musa 15 root or that of the common cereus are 
employed. The ashes of the burnt stalk of the quinoa plant, 
chenopodium quinua, mixed with a little lime, is the ordinary 



VARIOUS AGES. [Mariani.] 

preparation. In Caravaya the llipia is made in little cone- 
like lumps ; 10 in other places it is found in flat dried cakes, 
which are scratched into a powder with a stick as it is required 
for use. Tschudi mentions the use of sugar with the leaves, 
but this must have been a European innovation which was 
supposedly an improvement, but not warranted by local cus- 
toms. In Brazil, Coca or ypadu as there termed, is pow- 
dered and mixed with the ash of Cecropia palmata leaves. 17 

12 is 16 yon Tschudi : 1840. 
" Schlechtendal; 1834. 

Paz Soldan ; 1862. 

Markham ; 1862. 





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Gourd fc 
tobacco at 


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used wit 























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A chew of 




I I 





Ernst has traced the derivation of a number of the terms 
which are applied to the use of Coca among the Colombian 
Indians. These have been built up from the name of the 
gourd used to carry the lime or from the little sack in which 
the leaves are carried, which is always worn by the Indian. 
Thus the Chibchas term the alkali anna, which signifies a 
bluish lime. 18 

Dr. Monardes speaks of the use of tobacco combined with 
Coca and says of the Indians : "When they will make them- 
selves to be out of judgment they mingle with the Coca the 
leaves of the tobacco, at which' they totter and go as though 
they were out of their witts, or if they were drunk, which is a 
thing that doth give them great contentment to be in that 
sorte." 19 Tobacco is still mixed with Coca by some of the 
Colombian Indians, but it is doubtful if such a mixture alone 
would produce the effect described. The hallucinations and 
narcotic action attributed by early writers to Coca are largely 
confusional from imperfect facts. Some of the Indians 
gather the leaves of a plant they term huaca or huacacacliu. 
It is a running vine with a large obvate leaf, pale green above 
and purple beneath, growing in the montaiia only upon ground 
where there has previously been a habitation; for what is now 
an apparent virgin forest it is thought may three or four hun- 
dred years ago have been thickly inhabited. ~No scientific 
facts are known regarding this leaf as far as I could learn 
after submitting specimens of it to several of our leading 
botanists. The Indians term so many things huaca which 
is a name they apply to anything they consider sacred that it 
is very difficult to determine simply from the name. Von 
Tschudi probably refers to this leaf in what he describes as 
bovachero, or datura sanguinea. Several writers refer to the 
use of this leaf as a remedy for snake bite and against in- 
flammations. A liquor is prepared from the leaves which the 
Indians term tonga, the drinking of which, they believe, will 
put them in communication with their ancestors, and from its 
strong narcotic action perhaps it may. Tschudi describes the 
symptoms observed in the case of an Indian who had taken 

18 Uricoechea; 1871. 1B Clusius, /rans., 1601. 


some of this narcotic. He fell into a heavy stupor, his eyes 
vacantly fixed on the ground, his mouth convulsively closed 
and his nostrils dilated. In the course of a quarter of an hour 
his eyes began to roll, foam issued from his mouth, and his 
body was agitated with frightful convulsions. After these 
violent symptoms had passed off a profound sleep followed of 
several hours' duration, and when the subject recovered he re- 
lated the particulars of his visit with his forefathers. Be- 
cause of this superstitious property the natives termed huaca 
"the grave plant." 

The Indians have fixed places along the road where they 
rest and replace their chews of Coca. Usually it is in some 
spot sheltered from the wind ; and if near one of these re- 
treats, they will hurry until reaching there, where they may 
drop exhausted, and after resting for a few moments will 
begin to prepare the leaves for mastication. In about ten 
minutes they are armado as it is termed, or fully prepared 
to continue their journey. The distance an Indian will carry 
his ccepi or load, of about a hundred pounds, under stimulus 
of one chew of Coca is spoken of as a cocada, just as we might 
say a certain number of miles. It is really a matter of time 
rather than distance, the first influence being felt within ten 
minutes, and the effect lasting for about three-quarters of an 
hour, during which time three kilometres on level ground, or 
two kilometres going up hill, will usually be covered. 20 Al- 
though the roads are marked out with league stones, the exact 
number of miles these represent is a varying quantity, and 
travellers soon fall into the local habit of computing distance 
by the cocada as more exact. 

These ccepiris or burden bearers, which is the Quichua 
term or cargaderos as they are termed on the coast, com- 
monly travel six to eight cocadas a day without any other food 
excepting the Coca leaf used in the manner as indicated. 
It is not at all unusual as related by numerous travellers 
for a messenger to cover a hundred leagues afoot with no other 
sustenance than Coca. The old traditional chasqui, or cour- 
ier, who has been continued since the time of the Incas, is still 

: 1874: also Herndon: I: p. 146. 1853. 


given messages to carry on foot rather than by horse or mule. 
He always carries a pack, which is fastened on his back and to 
his head also, leaving both arms free ; and where the road is so 
steep that he cannot walk he will scramble along on all fours 
very rapidly. When the Indians come to their resting place 
they throw off their burdens and squat down, and the traveller 
might just as well decide to rest here as to attempt to go on. 
All persuasion would be just as useless to induce a resting In- 
dian to proceed as it would be in the case of their favorite 
beast of burden, the llama, which is as unalterable of purpose 
as is his master. 

The amount of Coca that is used by an Indian in a day 
varies from one to two handfuls, which is equivalent to one or 
two ounces. The leaves are not weighed out, but are appor- 
tioned to each man in accordance with the amount of work 
that is to be done. As an extensive operator in Peru ex- 
pressed it to me, "the more work the more Coca," while con- 
versely, the more Coca the more work they are capable of 
doing. If the placid calm of an Indian is ever ruffled, it is 
only manifest through his taking an extra chew. 

Away up in the cold and barren regions of the mountains 
wood and brush are too scarce to supply fuel, so the dried 
droppings of the llama are used instead ; and as no one ever 
thinks of having a fire in this region merely for the purpose of 
keeping warm, this fuel is only used for cooking and necessity 
soon corrects any over-fastidiousness in the epicure. One of 
the remarkable peculiarities of the llama is that the beast de- 
posits this mountain fuel always in the same places ; a whole 
herd will go to one fixed spot, and so greatly lessen the labor 
of gathering the dung. In some of the particularly danger- 
ous passes in the mountains there are rude crosses erected, 
which have been set up by the missionaries to mark the piles 
of sacred stones of the early Incan period. These stone piles 
are often far removed from loose stones, which must be car- 
ried for a long distance in anticipation of adding to the heap. 
As the Indian makes his offering he also expects all travellers 
as they pass to make a like obeisance to the god of the moun- 
tain, expressive of gratitude for a journey that has been safe 



thus far, and imploring a favorable continuance. Often these 
places are decorated with little trinkets, which are hung upon 
the arms of the cross or thrown upon the pile of stones. Any 
object that has been closely attached to the person is offered ; 
sometimes this may be even so simple as a hair from the eye- 
brow, but commonly the cud of Coca is thrown against the 
rocks, the Indian bowing three times and exclaiming "Apa- 
chicta,'' which is an abbreviation of the term Apachicta-much- 


hani, 21 "I worship at this heap," or "I give thanks to him who 
has given me strength to endure thus far." The offering is 
made to Apacliic, or Pachacamac, of whom the stone pile is an 
emblem. It is a curious fact that diametrically opposite on 
the globe, in that portion of Chinese Tartary where the priests 
are called Lamas, offerings are made by the natives to similar 
stone piles which are there termed obos. 

Arduous as may be the task of the cargo bearer, the sever- 
est trial the Indian is subject to is mining. They commence 

21 Rivero ; 1854. 


this labor as boys of eight and spend the greater part of their 
lives in the mines. These places are wet and cold, and the 
work is very hard. In getting out the ore the workers must 
use a thirty-pound hammer with one hand, while the carriers 
are obliged to bear burdens of about one hundred and fifty 
pounds up the steep ascent of the shaft to the surface. This 
mining is continuous, being carried on by two gangs of men, 
one of which goes on duty at seven at night, working until five 
in the morning, when, after a rest of two hours they continue 
until seven at night, and are then relieved by the other party. 
Some of the silver mines employ thousands of operatives, both 
men and women, the men working in the mine and the women 
breaking and sorting the ore which is brought to the surface. 
Unless there is at least twenty per cent, of silver in the ore it 
is cast aside ; and these women are so expert that as they break 
the stones into small pieces they determine instantly how it 
shall be sorted. A similar cleverness is shown on the part of 
the Indians who select the Coca or cinchona plants. They 
will walk rapidly through a nursery and determine at a glance 
the value of individual plants or of the whole field without 
apparent hesitation. The Indians do not always select min- 
ing through choice, but are almost driven to it through the in- 
fluence of the authorities. They have a dreadful fear of tem- 
poral powers and dare not disobey, even though their inclina- 
tions might suggest that they were born agriculturists. But 
these people have no inclinations ; they have always been 
taught to do as commanded. It is suggestive of an instance T 
once met with when a physician, in reprimanding his colored 
servant, asked him why he did a certain thing, to which the 
poor fellow started to explain by "I thought." "Thought !" 
said the doctor "there you go thinking again; you have no 
right to think !" And so it is with these poor Indians ; they 
can have no opinion, they have no right to think. 

The Incas did a prodigious amount of work in their min- 
ing efforts, which, even if primitive, were forcible and effec- 
tive. A system of waterway, similar to the extensive aqueducts 
of the coast, was made use of to conduct these operations, and 
several of these canals still exist, some many miles long. They 


are from three to five feet wide, and five to eight feet deep ; in 
places cut through the solid rock, and in others, when over a 
porous soil, they are lined with sandstone. Numerous smaller 
ones were extended from the main canal, generally ending in 
reservoirs, from which sluice gates might be opened to permit 
the pent-up volume of waters to suddenly rush down a hill, 
carrying with it hundreds of tons of golden gravel. At the 
same time other streams were run along the base of the cliffs, 
undermining them, and by this ancient method of hydraulic 
mining, continued through centuries, whole mountains have 
been washed away. At Alpacata, in the upper part of Apo- 
roma, at an elevation of seven thousand five hundred and fifty 
feet, is still to be found one of these old canals, together with 
the huge tanks for storing water, in a fair state of preserva- 

An engineer, extensively interested in mining interests, 
who spends several months of each year in Peru, has described 
to me the peculiar methods followed by the Indians, who some- 
times conduct their gold washings in the streams to their own 
profit. Selecting a part of some river bed that is left with- 
out water during the dry season, the Indian paves it with large 
sloping stones, forming a series of riffles. When the freshets 
of the rainy season cause the stream to rise and overflow these 
paved spots, any gold carried down is caught between the 
stones and is gathered during the following dry season. The 
annual returns from such farms are almost exactly the same 
each year, so that the Indian may count with as great accuracy 
on the yield of gold from his several mining chacras as he 
would upon the products of his corn or Coca fields. This 
primitive form of mining is still carried on to a limited ex- 
tent, and these gold farms are handed down from father to son 
as regular property. The Indians appear to have an intuitive 
and very accurate knowledge of the relative richness of the 
various streams, but their natural reticence makes it extremely 
difficult to gain this information from them. 

Prior to the Conquest the only domestic animals of the 
Incans was their household pet, the cue or guinea pig, and 
the llama, their beast of burden. The wool from these latter, 


together with that from the immense flocks of native sheep, 
which have been guarded and preserved through centuries, has 
continued an important source of Peruvian wealth. The 
llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco, all somewhat resemble each 
other. The first two are not found wild at all, but have been 
developed through long, patient effort from the wild species. 
Though in no way related to the camel of the Old World, the 
appearance of the llama is suggestive of both that beast and 
the sheep. They have the long neck and camel-like appear- 
ance of the head, with a sheep-like body and long legs, with 
feet peculiarly adapted for rough mountain travel, cushioned 
beneath, and having a claw-like hoof above. The guanaco 
commonly termed the Peruvian sheep, lives in small herds, 
and like sheep places implicit obedience in a leader. If de- 
prived of this guardianship they become bewildered and are 
easily hunted. They are wonderfully sure-footed on rocky 
heights, and are also good swimmers, taking voluntarily to the 
water; and they have even been known to drink the briny 
waters of salt springs. The vicuna is a smaller animal, living 
near the region of perpetual snow. It bears some resem- 
blance in habits to the chamois, being extremely active and so 
timid as to have resisted all efforts at domestication. They 
travel in herds of ten to fifteen females, with one male, who is 
the leader, ever on the alert, and who, upon approaching dan- 
ger, gives a peculiar whistle or cry somewhat resembling that 
of a wild turkey, when the herd is off like a flash. The short 
silken fur of this animal is nearly uniformly brown, or tinged 
with yellow on the back, shading into gray on the belly, and is 
highly prized. It is from this wool and from that of the al- 
paca that the Incan robes and the fine Coca pouches carried by 
the sovereigns were woven, llama wool being more coarse and 
only used for rougher fabrics. 

The use of the llama as a beast of burden by the early 
Peruvians was continued by the Spanish, and these animals 
still form an important means of transporting the wealth of 
the interior country across the mountains. They travel for 
immense distances by short stages, going, like the camel, long 
periods without water, while their sustenance is cropped by 


the wayside from the coarse blades of ycliu grass, which ap- 
pears to be their natural food, for they will not thrive where it 
does not grow. The llama will carry from eighty to one hun- 
dred pounds for about ten miles a day, but soon becomes ex- 
hausted, and not only requires rest, but in its peculiar way, 
demands it, so that double the number bearing the packs must 
be taken in train to admit of shifting the burdens frequently 
to avoid delay. This animal is an example of what can be 
done by coaxing rather than driving, for if overburdened or 
forced to travel beyond its ability the beast will sit down and 
absolutely refuse to budge, an obstinacy from which neither 
force nor blows will persuade it, but only excites a retaliation 
manifested by spitting an acrid saliva which, mixed with 
chewed cud, is extremely offensive, and is supposed to raise 
blisters wherever it touches the skin, but which in any case 
renders the person upon whom it falls an unenviable object. 
The Indians treat these beasts very kindly, talk to them, en- 
courage them, and so get them to do their work. A drove of 
llamas bearing their cargo of Coca over the mountains is an 
imposing sight. The leader, chosen for his height usually 
about six feet, has commonly his head decorated with tufts of 
colored woolen fringe hung with little bells, and his pointed 
ears, large, restless eyes and quivering lip make a very pretty 
picture. (See page 140.) 

When the llamas are met by other travellers in some nar- 
row defile the leader passes up or down the cliff and is fol- 
lowed by his train, scrambling over places that would not be 
attempted by a mule. The alpaca the most beautiful of all 
the native animals, is in size a more refined modeling of the 
llama ; it is probably merely a domesticated variety of the wild 
guanaco. Its color is commonly black, often variegated with 
brown and white, while the wool is long, silky and very valu- 
able. At one year's growth the fleece is one foot long, and ten 
to twelve pounds may be taken from one animal. The fine 
fancy tapestries of the Incas were woven from this wool, 
specimens of which, found in some of the ancient tombs, will 
to-day rival any of the most exquisite weaves of other countries 
in texture as well as in picturesque design and brilliancy of 


coloring. The extreme docility and kindness of the Andeans is 
nowhere better shown than by their care for their animals. 
As one writer has very clearly shown, "it is probable that no 
other people could have successfully domesticated so stubborn 
an animal as the llama so as to use it as a beast of burden, 
and constant watchfulness and attention have alone enabled 
the Indians to rear their flocks of alpacas, which need assist- 
ance in almost every function of nature and to produce the 
large annual outturn of wool." 

Smallpox has played havoc in the villages of the Andes. 
It is prevalent all over Peru and all along the Amazonian val- 
ley, and through the interior one meets with many faces show- 
ing the ravages of the disease. That the disease is here an- 
cient is evidenced by many examples of Incan pottery which 
depict it. The Indians do not take kindly to vaccination, and 
will not willingly submit to it, though in the cities it is com- 

That giant vulture, the condor, which is probably the 
fabulous roc of the stories of our childhood, is at home in the 
highest and coldest peaks of the Andes, where the most daring 
and experienced climbers are unable to reach their young or 
find the two eggs which they commonly lay upon some lofty 
ledge. The general color of the bird is a grayish black, of 
variable depth of glossiness in different individuals, the adult 
male being distinguished by the amount of white upon the 
feathers and a downy white collar about the neck. There are 
many exaggerated stories told of the power of the condor and 
of its attacks upon the native animals, but it prefers carrion 
to the living, or even to the flesh of those recently killed, and 
enjoys, unrestricted, the advantages of the barrenness of its 
lofty home, being seldom seen below the line of perpetual 
snow. While this bird is large and powerful, it hardly equals 
in strength the mighty roc, which carried poor Sindbad, the 
sailor, from the island on which he had been deserted by his 
companions. One claw of that bird, Sindbad said, was "as 
big as the trunk of a large tree," while "its egg was one hun- 
dred and fifty feet in circumference." The full spread of the 
condor's wings rarely exceeds fourteen feet, and the bird is so 


clumsy 'and stupid as to afford favorite sport for the Indian 
boys, who often cleverly lasso them. 

As one travels up the mountains the glaring rays of the 
sun, bursting through some gorge, are so dazzling, especially 
when falling upon the new-laid snow, as to occasion much in- 
convenience. Surumpe as this snow blindness is termed, is 
a very common affection of the Indians, which the traveller 
must guard against by wearing protecting goggles. Added 
to this disability is the zoroclie, or mountain sickness, induced 
by the rarefied atmosphere of the high altitudes. This often 
comes on suddenly without any premonitory symptom; at 
times it may be wholly absent, or it may be manifest all the 
way from a nervous irritability or uncomfortable fullness in 
the head and palpitating heart to complete prostration, sug- 
gestive of collapse. At times travellers may drop from the 
saddle from sheer muscular weakness, and Squier relates hav- 
ing drawn off his glove to go to the assistance of one of his 
party who had thus fallen, when they were at an altitude of 
14,750 feet, and being surprised to see blood oozing from the 
pores of his own hand. Upon reaching his companion he found 
him nearly senseless, with blood trickling from his mouth, 
ears, nostrils and the corners of his eye. Copious vomiting fol- 
lowed, the condition being relieved by the application of the 
usual restoratives. It is very unusual that such serious symp- 
toms are shown, and zoroche, like seasickness, does not often 
excite even sympathy, while, like mal de mer, often after one 
has experienced a first attack, they may never be troubled 
again, or they may be similarly affected upon every occasion 
when going into high altitudes. It is remarkable how utterly 
prostrated one will feel under the influence of zoroclie, the 
most speedy relief from which is to lie flat and perfectly still 
until sufficiently recovered to continue the journey. The 
slightest movement seems to be a difficulty, and just as the 
poor seasick victim, at first afraid he will die, becomes finally 
so physically demoralized through his suffering that he is 
afraid he will not die, so the subject of mountain sickness in 
its severity prays to be left alone to what seems his inevitable 
and immediate end. Rest and a. judicious use of Coca, now 


best taken as an elixir or wine, acts so magically as to soon 
change all this, and the sufferer lives to enjoy the bounties 
which Nature has in store in brighter, smiling scenes beyond. 

Even the animals suffer from an impossibility of taking in 
sufficient stimulus in the thin air of high altitudes, and the 
owners of the mules often slit the nostrils of their beasts 
when they have not already been cut through from thistle eat- 
ing so as to remove even the slightest impediment to deep 
breathing. It is not known that the mules have been induced 
to feed upon Coca leaves, as the horses of the far East are 
sustained by opium, but their suffering is supposedly re- 
lieved by the odor of garlic ; and the arriero, ever mindful of 
the welfare of his charge, attempts to relieve the trembling 
and panting beasts by rubbing over the foreheads of these ani- 
mals an ointment made of tallow, garlic and wild marjoram. 
Some of the Indians have peculiar ideas about this disability, 
which they call veto, or vein, because they believe it is oc- 
casioned by a vein of metal in the mountains diffusing around 
some poisonous influence and so contaminating the atmos- 
phere. But whatever his interpretation as to the cause may be, 
the Indian knows from experience that if Coca will not wholly 
prevent, it will speedily relieve this annoyance ; and its use for 
this purpose is mentioned in all the historical accounts of 
the Andeans. All travellers who have written of their jour- 
neys over these mountains, speak in praise of this particular 
property of Coca. Dr. Benjamin F. Gibbs, U. S. N., in his 
report on Coca to the United States Government, attributes 
this great virtue to the direct action of Coca in stimulating the 
cardiac muscular fibre, thus assisting the natural force of the 
heart to make its greatest effort to pass the summit of the 
Andes. 22 

One of the frequent disabilities for both man and beast 
travelling in the mountain is empacho,or indigestion, probably 
induced not only by irregularity in eating, but by improper 
and insufficient food, as well as imperfect oxygenation. 
Against this condition Coca exerts an influence by the increase 

O v 

of respiratory power, as well as increased capacity in the 

22 Sanitary and Medical Report, V. 8. N., J873-.J, Washington, 1875. 


heart, holding at the same time hunger and thirst in abeyance, 
for it not only does not impair appetite in the least, but in- 
creases it ; and when opportunity offers, the Indian who has 
gone for days without food will dispose of a meal with a de- 
liberation and fixedness of purpose that is astonishing. Dr. 
Weddell, in speaking of this property of Coca in sustaining 
the strength without food, particularly refers to this fact, and 
says that it did not impair the appetites of the Indians who 
accompanied him in his travels and who chewed the leaf inces- 
santly, yet who, in the evening, at the completion of tjieir 
labors, always ate ravenously of a quantity sufficient to com- 
pensate fully for any omissions since the previous meal. 

Through these long mountain journeys, where it is neces- 
sary to carry the food supply, the Indians use the indigenous 
potato papa, as they term it, which is found throughout 
Peru in great variety, and which they prepare for their use by 
numerous ways of preservation of drying and freezing. 
Chuno is made by soaking the common potato in water for 
several days and then pressing out the moisture and freezing 
the pulp, while Chochoca is another frozen preparation, and 
both of these have long proved so serviceable in the journeys 
on the Andes that Rivero suggested such a form of preparation 
might be desirable to add to the supplies of the army and 
navy. Oca is a species of potato of a purple color ; it is a fa- 
vorite article of diet from which caya, another preserved va- 
riety, is made. Nashua is made from oca by rotting it until 
it is so offensive that no palate but that of an Indian accus- 
tomed to such dainties could tolerate it. Macas is a potato 
tuber w r hich when boiled looks and tastes like turnips. The 
Indians expose it in the frost and sun for a number of days, 
and then dry it indoors and prepare a sort of syrup from it 
which smells very offensive, but is said to be a stimulant to re- 
production. On the mountains there grows a yellow potato 
the amarillo, which is far superior to anything similar found 
in our markets ; it will only grow at a certain elevation and 
has resisted all efforts of cultivation elsew r here by degenerat- 
ing, after the first crop, into the common variety. Preserved 
meats are carried in the mountains as charqui or jerked beef, 


which is the whole carcass of a sheep, dried in cold air ; but 
alcohol is never forgotten on these trips, and the Indian will 
drink it straight, if it is given to him ; for although his reli- 
ance is upon Coca as of necessity for the force and endurance 
it gives, he loves alcohol for its own sake. It is as was once 
expressed to me by a plethoric individual of our own clime, "I 
don't drink because I need it, doctor, but because I like the 
taste of it." The application that alcohol is a spur or whip to 
urge on over some immediate emergency, while Coca is an im- 
parter of continuous force, is well illustrated by a story told of 
some Indians to whom whiskey had been given, and upon being 
asked an opinion as to its influence, one fellow replied : "Coca 
helps a man to* live, but whiskey makes him row a boat." 2 
This is an empirical application which has been fully deter- 
mined by physiological fact, which establishes an alcoholic 
preparation of Coca such as Coca wine as an ideal tonic- 
stimulant, possessing not only immediate but lasting effects. 

In looking through the log book of an Andean traveller 
with reference to the burdens carried by the Indians, I re- 
marked that the packs for the party were chiefly made up of 
Coca, preserved foods and sugar alcohol, the first and last 
being predominant. The food supply in travelling over the 
mountains is one of the most serious problems, and at best the 
preserved foods are not very inviting, while it requires a good 
appetite and vigorous imagination to enjoy the compact por- 
tion of dried compounds, offered as an available ration. A 
gentleman recently returned from a trip across the Andes ex- 
pressed himself of the belief that people commonly eat too 
much, and. that during his sojourn there he had been forced, 
through sheer necessity, to be abstemious in eating, and for 
days at a time had lived upon Coca because it was the only 
thing convenient in the supplies at hand, but as a result he felt 
not only more strong, but younger. 

The Indians carry a pack of from eighty to one hundred 
pounds, the amount of burden for both men and mules being 
regulated by law in the several districts, being less on the East- 
ern Andes than on the western cordillera, while the pay is the 

3 Rusby; person, com.; 1898. 


same. The wages of these carriers is sixteen cents of our 
money a day, yet these people work on amidst all inclemency 
of weather, through shifting seasons from increased altitude, 
willing and contented, with a cusi-simirac, or happy smile, so 
long as callpa, or force, be sustained with the essential Coca. 

In the villages of the Sierra there is found an abund- 
ant supply of native fruits in great variety. Some of these 
are very luscious, and one soon acquires a liking for them, 
which may remain a happy remembrance throughout life. 
Among these are the cTiirimoya a heart-shaped fruit, from 
two to five inches in diameter, growing on a tree amonacheri- 
molia fifteen to twenty feet in height, which requires a num- 
ber of years to bring it to perfection. The fruit is a brownish 
green, externally covered with small knobs and scales, with 
fine black lines like a network spread over it. The pulp is a 
creamy white, containing a number of dark brown seeds ar- 
ranged about a central. core, the taste of which has been re- 
ferred to as "spiritualized strawberries and cream," and it is 
comparable, with nothing else. Palta sometimes called 
aguacate the alligator pear, which is also seen in our mar- 
kets, is the fruit of Persea, or gatissima a tall, slender tree, 
fifty feet or more in height. The fruit is pear-shaped, hav- 
ing a tough rind containing a pulp which seems to melt upon 
the tongue like marrow, it is eaten with pepper and salt, 
or dressed like a salad. Then there is granadilla the fruit 
of tassiflora quadrangularis, a hard, thick-skinned, egg-shaped 
fruit, with a grayish, gelatinous pulp of an agreeable sub-acid 
taste, which, with hosts of others, must all be novel to the trav- 
eller who first visits Peru. These, together with bananas, or- 
anges, water melons, peaches, apples, grapes, cherries, figs and 
dates, comprise a tempting variety to select from. 

Heavy clothing is always necessary in the elevated towns, 
the accustomed overcoat being replaced by the native poncho, 
a sort of blanket-like garment woven of llama wool, with a hole 
cut in the centre, through which one sticks the head, allowing 
the softly woven fabric to fall closely over the figure. It is 
commonly worn, not only by the natives, but by travellers, and 
is very light, fleecy and warm. With this the town folk of 



some provinces wear a white sombrero on week days, which is 
changed for black on Sundays, while the ladies don expensive 
silks, with fancy shawls and elaborate lace mantuas, with 
which they drape the head after the manner of the Limaian 
ladies in a style far more picturesque than would be the 
conventional bonnet. 

Here in brief is an attempt to show some of the surround- 
ings which the Andean of to-day is subjected to. These In- 
dians represent the remains of the plodding masses of that 
once mighty nation of the Incas, whose customs and traditions 
have descended to them. The "divine plant," once so far be- 
yond the privilege of this plebeian class, is now theirs through 
right of inheritance, and they have adapted the sacred Coca to 
their present necessities. That we may more readily under- 
stand what those necessities are which have continued this use 
through so many centuries, we should study these Indians at 
their labors, when it will be shown as it long ago became ap- 
parent to the Spaniards that Coca chewing among them is 
not a mere idle practice, but that Providence has truly granted 
them in this ancient plant a possibility for their survival de- 
spite the hardships of a peculiar environment. 



"There is a Grecian fable that says a child had shown ^Escula- 
pius a plant that would cure all ills; Coca is that plant." 

Henri Houssaye, French Acadcmicien. 

OCA the '"divine plant" of the Incas, 
belongs to the family of the Ery- 
throxylacece, which is broadly dis- 
tributed throughout the tropical 
world. There are two genera, the 
Erythroxylon and Aneulophus. 1 Of 
the former there are at least a hun- 
*dred species, the majority of which 
are found in South America ; in 

tropical Asia there are six, in Africa five or more, and two in 
Northern Australia. The characteristics of the entire family 
are similar, while several peculiarities are predominant, 
among which are the nerve markings of the leaf, the tongue- 
like appendage of fhe petals of the flower, and the early ob- 
literation of a certain number of the original compartments 

1 Reiche, Engler und Prantl; Vol. Ill: (4); 1897. 



of the fruit, two or three of these aborting even while in 
flower, leaving an indication of their former presence only by 
minute openings. 

Peyritsch, in an elaborate classification of the genus Ery- 
tJiroxylon, makes four divisions of this in accordance with 
the size of the leaf and certain peculiarities of the flower. 2 
The first division describes seven species growing in Brazil, 
Northern Mexico and Cuba, of which the leaves are up to a 
thumb's length, the flowers occurring from one to six in the 
axils of the bracts, or scales, the styles being at least in part 

The second division enumerates twenty-eight species, 
among them several employed for economic uses, E. anguifu- 
gum, Mart., E. squamatum, Swaitz, and E. areolatum, Jacq., 
together with E. Coca, Lam., which is by far the most impor- 
tant of the entire family. The plants of this species are scat- 
tered through Peru, Colombia, Guiana, Panama E. Pana- 
maense, Turez, Mexico E. Mexicanum, HBK., Colombia 
E. cassinioides, PI. et Lind, and E. rigidulum, DC. In this 
division the leaves are commonly longer than the thumb, 
though less than a finger's length. The flowers occur from 
three to ten in clusters, the arrangement of the styles being as 
in the first division. 

The third division embraces thirty-five species, found in 
Peru, Guiana, Colombia and Brazil. Among this is E. Pul- 
chrum, St. Hil., growing in the province of Kio Janeiro and 
locally known as subrayil or arco de pipa, and E. Sprucea- 
num, Peyr., growing in Panure to Rio Uaupes, the E. sube- 
rosum, St. Hil., and E. tortuosum, Mart. The Mama Coca 
of Martius is also classed here as a distinct species. The 
leaves of this class are of a finger's length or over. The styles 
of the pistil are joined up to their stigmas. 

In the fourth division there are twelve species, the leaves 
of all of which are from a span to a foot or more long. In 
the entire classification eighty-two species are described. 

Many of the species of Erythroxylon are employed for 
economic uses. E. anguifugum is used in Brazil as a remedy 

2 Martius; 1878. 



against snake bite. E. campestre is employed in the same 
country as a purgative. The bark of E. suberosum, and also 
of E. tortuosum, yields a brownish red dye. The former is 
termed in Brazil gallinha clioca and mer curio do campo. 3 

E. areolatum is a native of the northern parts of South 
America and Jamaica, in the latter place being known as red 
wood, or iron wood, and some excellent timber is derived from 


this species. It is a small tree from fifteen to eighteen feet 
in height, with a trunk from five to six inches in diameter, 
growing in the lowlands. The twigs and leaves of this spe- 
cies are said to be refrigerant and when mixed with benne oil 
form a refreshing liniment, while the bark is also a tonic and 
the sub-acid of its fruit is purgative and diuretic. The wood 
of E. hyperici folium is the Bois d'huile of the Isle of France. 
E. monogynum is a native of the East Indies, where it is 

"Lindley; 1853. 



known under the native name of gadara. Its wood is fra- 
grant and takes a beautiful polish, being considered as a sort 
of bastard sandal. An empyreumatic oil is derived from it, 
which is used in preserving the wood of the native boats. The 
important properties of Coca have directed attention to the 
plants of these several species of the Erythroxylon family in 
the hope that their leaves might contain a similar series of 

The first attempt at any technical description of Coca was 
that made by Monardes some years after the early publica- 
tions upon the conquest of Peru. The earliest purely botani- 
cal classification appears to be 
that of Plukenet, in 1692. He 
describes the "Mamacoca," or 
the "Mother of Coca," as the 
deified name used among the 
Peruvians. 4 About a genera- 
tion later Antoine de Jussieu 
described the specimens which 
he had received from his broth- 
er Joseph while he was with 
the expedition of La Conda- 
mine. Jussieu placed Coca in 
the family of the MalpigJiiacca? 
of the genus Setliia because 
of certain characteristics of the leaf and the three-compart- 
ment fruit. Cavanilles. who drew his account and his illus- 
trations of the plant from these examples, which were pre- 
served in the herbarium of the Museum of Natural History at 
Paris, also followed this classification. 

Dr. Browne in 1756, in his Natural History of Jamaica, 
included Coca among the plants of that region and placed it in 
the family Erythroxylum, deriving this generic name from the 
red color of the wood of some local species. 5 About this same 
time Linnaeus placed Coca in the family of the ErytTiroxylece 
of the genus Erythroxylon, and subsequently this classifica- 
tion was followed by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, a nephew 

4 Plukenetii; mantissa 25; 1692. 5 Patrick Browne; p. 278; 1756. 

'CARL VON LTNNE. [Linnceus.] 


of Joseph, who changed the classification from Malpighiads 
because of certain characteristics of the Coca flower. 

The observation was made by the poet Goethe in his 
"Metamorphosis of Plants," that the flower was merely a re- 
production of the modified plant leaf, just as the stem, trunk, 
stalk or root is shaped to satisfy particular requirements, all 
originating from the germinal embryo in the seed. Because 
it determines the perpetuation of the plant, botanists regard 
the flower as an important organ in the consideration of any 

The Erytliroxylons differ from the Malpighiads by their 
flowers growing from amongst 
small imbricated scales, hav- 
ing no glands on the calyx, capi- 
tate stigmas, and having the 
ovules united superiorly. La- 
marck has followed the classifi- 
cation of Antoine Laurent de 
Jussieu, and this has since been 
regarded by the majority of 
authorities as classic. Eichler 
and Martina have continued the 
description of the early Jus- 
sieu, while Ballieu, Planchon, ^ 
and Bentham and Hooker, be- SlR w - J HooKEE - 
* cause of the frequent occurrence of a five-compartment fruit, 
have placed Coca with the Linacece the flax family, arid 
have assigned it as number thirty-four of the division of that 
order. Commers has placed Coca in the genus Venelia and 
Roelana, and Spreng associates it with the Steudelia, while 
TTumboldt, Bonpland and Kunth class it with Sethia-, of 
which Jussieu formed a genus. 

One of the most marked characteristics of the Coca leaf is 
the areolated portion bounded by two longitudinal elliptical 
lines curving toward the midrib. These lines are commonly 
more conspicuous on the under surface of the leaf. The areo- 
lated portion is slightly concave, and of a deeper color than 
the rest of the leaf, probably from a closer venation. This 


peculiarity is not confined to the E rythroxlon Coca. It is 
marked in E. areolatum, and it furnishes a character for the 
section Areolata of de Candolle's Prodromus, Vol. I, p. 575, 
in which five specimens are included. In many other species, 
where there are no demarking lines, the leaves are sometimes 
marked by similar bud pleatings or have a peculiar color 
bounding the area. In his early account of this species 
Browne described the leaf as : "Marked with two slender lon- 
gitudinal lines upon the back which were the utmost limits of 
that part of the leaf which was exposed while it lay in a 
folded state." 

Some botanists have considered the characteristic lateral 
lines of the Coca leaf as nerves. Martius was of the opinion 
these result from pressure of the margin of the leaf as it is 
rolled toward the midrib while in the bud, the pinching of the 
tissue causing the substance of the leaf to be raised, resem- 
bling a delicate nerve. The lines have been designated as "tis- 
sue folds," 6 but there is no fold in either the epidermis or sub- 
stance of the leaf. Histologically the lines are formed by a 
narrow band of elongated cells, which resemble the collen- 
chyma cells of the neighboring epidermis, 7 and these doubt- 
less serve to stiffen the blade. The lines have no connection 
wjth the veins of the leaf and in transmitted light seem like 
mere ghostly shadows which vanish under closer search. 

Many observers have supposed they had found the original 
locality of wild Coca. Alcide d'Orbigny describes in his 
travels, having entered a valley covered with what he sup- 
posed to be the wild Coca shrub, but thinking he might be 
mistaken, he showed the plant to his mule driver, who was the 
proprietor of a cocal in Yungas, and he pronounced it un- 
doubtedly Coca and gathered a quantity of the leaves. 8 It 
has been asserted that wild Coca may be found in the province 
of Cochero, 9 and one of the former governors of Oran, in the 
province of Salta, on the northern borders of the Argentine 
Republic, claims to have found wild Coca of excellent quality 
in the forests of that district. 10 Poeppig also described hav- 
ing found wild specimens, known by the natives as Mama 

a Hananseck; 1885. 7 Schrenk ; 1887. 8 D'Orbigny; 1830. Peyritsch ; 1878. 
10 Villafane; 1857. 



Coca, in the Cerro San Cristobal, near the Huallaga, some 
miles below Huanuco. These examples closely resemble the 
shrubs of cultivated Coca collected by Martius in the neigh- 
borhood of Ega, Brazil, near the borders of the Amazon, and 
correspond to the wild specimens commonly found through- 
out Peru. 

In Colombia Humboldt, Bonpland and Kunth described 
Erythroxylon Hondense as the possible type of the originally 
cultivated Coca shrub, but there is a difference between the 
leaves of E. Coca and E. Hondense in the arrangement of their 
nervures, from which Pyrame de Candolle considers them as 
entirely distinct species. Andre 
speaks of Coca in the valley 
of the river Cauca as in abund- 
ance in both the wild and half- 
wild state, but an excellent au- 
thority denies that Coca is 
found wild in Colombia. 11 

The exact locality where 
Coca is indigenous in a wild 
state has, however, never been 
determined. Though there are 
many Coca plants growing 
throughout the montaiia outside of cultivation, it is pre- 
sumed that these are examples where the seeds of the 
plant have either been unintentionally scattered or else 
are the remains of some neglected plantation where might 
have flourished a vigorous cocal under the Spanish 
reign. There are evidences of these scattered shrubs through- 
out the entire region where Coca will grow, but there is no his- 
torical data to base a conclusion that these represent wild 
plants of any distinct original variety, while the weight of 
testimony indicates that they are examples of the traditional 
plant which have escaped from cultivation. 

Although the heart of the habitat of Coca is in the Peru- 
vian montana from 7 S., north for some ten degrees, the 
shrubs are found scattered along the entire eastern curve of 

11 Triana and Planchon ; p. 338; 1862. 



the Andes, from the Straits of Magellan to the borders of tho 
Caribbean Sea, in the moist and warm slopes of the moun- 
tains, at an elevation from 1,500 to 5,000 and even 6,000 feet, 
being cultivated at a higher altitude through Bolivia than in 
Peru. Throughout this extent there are to be seen large 
plantations and many smaller patches where Coca is raised in 
a small way by Indians who come three or four times a year to 
look after their crop. In some localities, through many 
miles, these cocals cover the sides of the mountains for thou- 
sands of feet. During the Incan period the centre of this in- 
dustry was about the royal city of Cuzco, and at present the 
provinces of Caravaya and of Sandia, east of Cuzco, are the 
site of the finest variety of Peruvian grown Coca. In this 
same region there grows coffee, cacao, cascarilla, potatoes, 
maize, the sugar cane, bananas, peaches, oranges, paltas, and 
a host of luscious fruits and many valuable dyes and woods. 

There are still important Coca regions about Cuzco, and 
at Paucartambo and in several Indian towns along the Hua- 
nuco valley, situated in the very heart of the northern mon- 
tana and noted for its coffee plantations. At one time this 
region was accredited with supplying Coca for all Peru, which 
probably meant the mining centres of Huancavelica for- 
merly more prominent than at present and Cerro de Pasco, 
where the mines are still extensively worked. There are fine 
cocals at Mayro, on the Zuzu River, and at Pozuso which are 
German colonies ; at the latter place is located the laboratory 
of Kitz, one of the largest manufacturers of crude cocaine, 
whose product supplies some of the important German chemi- 
cal houses. Still further to the northwest in Colombia, 
there are a number of small plantations along the valley of 
Yupa, at the foot of the chain of mountains which separates 
the province of Santa Marta de Maracaibo, at the mouth of 
the Magdalena River. Eastward from the montana Coca is 
cultivated near many of the tributaries of the Amazon, and 
through some portions of Brazil, where it is known as ypadit 
(E. Pulchrum, St. Hil.). The Amazonian plant is not only 
modified in appearance, 12 but the alkaloidal yield is inferior. 15 

12 Poeppig; 1835. 13 Parke, Davis & Co.; person, com.; 1898. 


The temperature in which Coca is grown must be equable, 
of about 18 C. (64.4 F.). If the mean exceeds 20 0. 
(68 F.), the plant loses strength and the leaf assumes a dry- 
ness which always indicates that it is grown in too warm a sit- 
uation, and though the leaves may be more prolific, they have 
not the delicate aroma of choice Coca. It is for the purpose 
of securing uniform temperature and appropriate drainage 
that Coca by preference is grown at an altitude above the in- 
tense heat of the valleys, and where it is virtually one season 
throughout the year, the only change being between the hot 
sun or the profuse rains of the tropical montaiia. As the 
temperature lowers with increase of altitude, when too great a 
height is reached the shrub is less thrifty and develops a small 
leaf of little market value, while as only one harvest is pos- 
sible the expense of cultivation is too great to prove profitable. 
Even close to the equator, in the higher elevations, there is al- 
ways danger from frost, and for this reason some of the cocals 
about Iluanuco have at times suffered serious loss. All at- 
tempts at Coca cultivation on a profitable scale near to Lima 
have failed not only because of the absence of rain, but be- 
cause the season's changing is unsuited. 

A peculiar earth is required for the most favorable culti- 
vation of Coca, one rich in mineral matter, yet free from lime- 
stone, which is so detrimental that even when it is in the sub- 
stratum of a vegetable soil the shrub grown over it will be 
stunted and the foliage scanty. While the young Coca plants 
may thrive best in a light, porous soil, such as that in the 
warmer valleys, the full grown shrub yields a better quality of 
leaf when grown in clay. The red clay, common in the tropi- 
cal Andes, is formed by a union of organic acids with the in- 
organic bases of alkaline earths, and oxides chiefly of iron 
which in a soluble form are brought to the surface by capillar- 
ity. These elements enter the Coca shrub in solution 
through its multiple fibrous root, which looks like a veritable 
wig. The delicate filaments are extended in every direction 
to drink in moisture, and as these root-hairs enter the inter- 
spaces of the soil, the particles of which are covered with a 
film of water, absorption readily takes place. The clay soil 



of the montafia affords this property in a high degree, while 
the hillside cultivation admits of an appropriate drainage of 



the interspaces without which the delicate root would soon be 
rotted. As the- water is absorbed from the soil, a flow by 
capillarity takes place to that point, and so the Coca root will 
drain a considerable space. 

It is possible a metallic soil may have some marked in- 
fluence on the yield of alkaloid. At Phara, where the best 
Coca leaves are grown, the adjacent mountains are formed of 
at least two per cent, of arsenical pyrites, a fact which is note- 
worthy because this is the only place in Peru where the soil is 
of such a nature. Most of the soil of the Andean hills where 
the best Coca is grown, originates in the decay of the pyritifer- 
ous schists, which form the chief geological feature of the sur- 
rounding mountains. This, commonly mixed with organic 
matter and salts from the decaying vegetation, or that of the 
trees burned to make a clearing, affords what might be termed 
a virgin earth terre franche ou normale which requires no 
addition of manures for invigoration. In the conservatory it 
has been found, after careful experimentation, that a mixture 
of leaf mould and sand terre de bruyere, forms the best arti- 
ficial soil for the Coca plant. 14 

Aside from an appropriate soil that is well drained, there 
is another important element to the best growth of Coa, and 
that is a humid atmosphere. Indeed, in the heart of the mon- 
tafia it is either hazy or drizzling during some portion of the - 
day throughout the year, the intense glare of the tropical sun 
being usually masked* by ban^s of fog, so that it would seem 
that one living here is dwelling in the clouds. At night the 
atmosphere is loaded with moisture and the temperature may 
be a little lower than during the day, though there is usually 
but a trifling variation day after day. 

The natural life of the Coca shrub exceeds the average 
life of man, yet new Cocals are being frequently set out to re- 
place those plants destroyed through accident or carelessness. 
The young plants are usually started in a nursery, or alma- 
ciga, from seeds planted during the rainy season, or these may 
be propagated from cuttings. In the conservatory slips may 
be successfully grown if care is taken to retain sufficient moist- 

14 Marian! ; person, com. ; 1899. 


ure about the young plant by covering it with a bell glass. 15 
The birds are great lovers of Coca seeds, and when these 
are lightly sown on the surface of the nursery it is neces- 
sary to cover the beds at night with cloths to guard against 
''picking and stealing." Before sowing the seeds are some- 
times germinated by keeping them in a heap three or four 
inches high and watering them until they sprout. They are 
then carefully picked apart and planted, 16 either in hills or 
the seeds are simply sown on the surface of the ground, "and 
from that they take them up and set them in other places into 
earth that is well labored and tilled and made convenient to 
set them in." 17 There is commonly over the beds of the nur- 
sery a thatched roof liuasiclii, which serves as a protection to 
the tender growing shoots from the beating rain or melting 
fierceness of the occasional sun. The first spears are seen in 
a fortnight, and the plants are carefully nourished during six 
months, or perhaps even a year until they become strong 
enough to be transplanted to the field. 

As a rule, all plants that are forty or fifty centimetres high 
(16 to 20 inches) may be set out, being "placed in rows as we 
might plant peas or beans." 18 In some cases they are set in 
little Walled beds, termed aspi, a foot square, care being taken 
that the roots shall penetrate straight into the ground. Each 
of these holes is set about with stones to prevent the surround- 
ing earth from falling, while yet admitting a free access of air 
about the roots. In such a bed three OP four seedlings may be 
planted to grow up together, a method which is the outgrowth 
of laziness, as the shrubs will flourish better when set out 
singly. Usually the plants are arranged in rows, termed 
uaclias, which are separated by little w r alls of earth umachas, 
at the base of which the plants are set. In some districts the 
bottle gourd, maize, or even coffee, is sown between these rows, 
so as to afford a shield for the delicate shoots against sun or 
rain. At first the young plants are weeded mazi as it is 
termed frequently, and in an appropriate region there is no 
need for artificial watering; but the Coca plant loves mois- 

1B Mariani; person, com.; 1899. 18 Rushy; person, com.; 1898. 
17 i 8 Monardes; 1580. 


ture, and forty days under irrigation will cover naked shrubs 
with new leaves, but the quality is not equal to those grown by 
natural means. 19 

In from eighteen months to two years the first harvest, or 
mitta, which literally means time or season is commenced. 
The leaves are considered mature when they have begun to 
assume a faint yellow tint, or better when their softness is 
giving place to a tendency to crack or break off when bent, 
usually about eight days before the leaf would fall naturally. 
This ripe Coca leaf is termed by the Indians caclia. 

The Coca shrub, growing out of immediate cultivation, 
will sometimes attain a height of about twelve feet, but for the 
convenience of picking, cultivated plants are kept down to less 
than half that height by pruning huriar or ccuspar at the 
time of harvesting, by picking off the upper twigs, which in- 
creases the lateral spread of the shrub. The first harvest or 
rather preliminary picking, is known as quita calzon, from the 
Spanish guitar to take away, and calzon breeches. As the 
name indicates, it is really more of a trimming than what 
might be termed a harvest, and the leaves gathered at this 
time have less flavor than those of the regular mittas. Each 
of the harvests is designated by name which may vary ac- 
cording to the district. The first regular one in the spring 
mitta de marzo, yields the most abundantly. Then, at the end 
of June, there is commonly a scanty crop known as the mitta 
de San Juan the harvest of the festival of St. John while 
a third, following in October or November, is the mitta de To- 
dos Santos the harvest of all saints. 

Usually the shrubs are weeded only after each harvest, 
and there seems to be a prejudice against doing this at other 
times, though if the cocals are kept clear the harvest may be 
anticipated by more than a fortnight. 20 Garcilasso tells how 
an avaricious planter, by diligence in cultivating his Coca, 
got rid of two-thirds of his annual tithes in the first harvest. 

Picking exerts a beneficial influence on the shrub, which 
otherwise would not flourish so well. The gathering palla 
is still done by women and children palladores as they are 

"Weddell; 1853. 20 Garcilasso; Hakluyt; 1871. 



termed just as was the custom during the time of the Incas, 
though the Colombians will not permit women to take part in 
the Coca cultivation at any time. Many writers have spoken 
of the extreme care with which the leaves are picked or 
pinched from the shrub, one by one; but to a casual observer 
the gathering seems to be done far more carelessly. The col- 
lector squats down in front of the shrub, and taking a branch 
strips the leaves off with both hands by a dexterous movement, 

while avoiding injury to the 
tender twigs. The pickers must 
be skilled in their work, for 
not only a certain knack, but 
some little force is requisite, as 
is shown by the wounds occa- 
sioned to even the hard skin of 
the hand of those who are ac- 
customed to the task. 

The leaves are collected in a 
poncho or in an apron of coarse 
wool, from which the green 
leaves termed matu are 
emptied into larger sacks 
materos, in which they are con- 
veyed to the drying shed 
matucancha. Four or five ex- 
pert pickers in a good cocal can 
gather a cesta equivalent to a 
bale of twenty-five pounds, in 
a day. Harvesting is never commenced except when the 
weather is dry, for rain would immediately spoil the leaves 
after they have been picked, rendering them black in color 
and unsalable, a condition which the Indians term Coca 
gonupa, or yana Coca. 

Coca when gathered is stored temporarily in sheds 
matuhuarsi, which open into closed courts, the cachi, or matu- 
pampa, and the contents of these warehouses indicate the pros- 
perity of the master of the cocal. 21 In the drying yards of 

81 Gosse; 1861. 



these places the leaves are spread in thin layers two or three 
inches deep, either upon a slate pavement pizarra, or simply 
distributed upon a hard piece of clear ground of the casa de 
hacienda. The closest guardianship must now be maintained 
over the leaves during the process of drying, and on the slight- 
est indication of rain they are swept under cover by the at- 
tendants with the greatest rapidity. Drying may be com- 
pleted within six hours in good weather, and when properly 
dried under such favorable conditions, the leaf is termed 
Coca del dia and commands the highest price. A well cured 
mature Coca leaf is olive green, pliable, clean, smooth and 
slightly glossy, while those which are old or are dried more 
slowly assume a brownish green and are less desirable. After 
drying, the leaves are thrown in a heap, where they remain 
about three days while undergoing a sort of sweating process. 
When this commences the leaf is crisp, but sweating renders it 
soft and pliable. After sweating the leaves are again sun 
dried for a half hour or so, and are then ready for packing. 
If the green leaves cannot be immediately dried, they may be 
preserved for a few days if care be taken not to keep them in 
heaps, which would induce a secondary sweating or decompo- 
sition and give rise to a musty odor, termed Coca ccaspada, 
which clings even to the preparations made from such leaves. 

The refinement of curing maintains a certain amount of 
moisture in the leaf, together with the peculiar Coca aroma, 
and it is exact discernment in this process which preserves the 
delicacy of flavor. When drying has been so prolonged as to 
render the leaf brittle and without aroma, the quality of Coca 
is destroyed. It has been suggested that an improvement 
might be made in drying through the use of sheds, where the 
leaves could be exposed in layers to an artificial heat, and a 
current of dry air, after the manner of the secaderos used in 
Cuba for drying coffee. But whether because of an unwill- 
ingness to adopt new methods, or because of some peculiar in- 
fluence of the atmosphere imparted to the leaf in the native 
way of drying, all attempts to employ artificial methods have 
proved unsatisfactory. 

The exquisite little creamy white flower of Coca is seen in 



the fields of the cocals after each harvest, the flowering con- 
tinuing for about two weeks. The Coca plants which were 
presented to the New York Botanical Garden have continued 
to blossom at irregular intervals throughout the year, while 


[From a Photograph.] 

The upright rule on the right is one metre high. These plants, presented 
to the New York Botanical Garden, have in two years fully doubled in size. 

M. Mariani told me that the shrubs grown in his conserva- 
tories flower in October. The blossoms are very delicate and 
the petals quickly fall. 

When the fruit has formed it changes color in ripening, 


through all the hues from a delicate greenish yellow to a deep 
scarlet vermilion, and upon the same shrub there may be a 
number of such colorations to be seen at one time. Monardes, 
writing centuries ago, said: "The fruit is in the form of a 
grape, and as the fruit of the myrtle is reddish when it is 
ripening, and about of the same dimensions when attaining 
its highest maturity becoming darker black." I was going to 
say that the fruit resembles the smallest of oval cranberries, 
both in color and in shape, for I at one time found some little 
cranberries which appeared so much like the Coca fruit as to 
seem almost identical ; but all cranberries are not alike, and 
there has already been too much confusion in hasty compari- 
son, so I shall reserve my description for the more technical 
details. The fruit is gathered while yet scarlet during the 
March harvest, but if it is permitted to remain on the bush it 
becomes dark brown or black and shrivels to the irregular lob- 
ing of the contained nut. 

In selecting the seeds care is taken to cast aside all fruit 
that is decayed, the balance being thrown into water, and those 
which are light enough to float are rejected as indicating they 
have been attacked by insects. The balance are then rotted in 
a damp, shaded place, to extract the seed, which is washed and 
sun dried. When it is desired to preserve these any length of 
time the fruit is exposed to the hot sun, which dries the fleshy 
portion into a protective coating. But the seeds do not keep 
well. In Peru perhaps they will retain germinating power 
for about fifteen days, while those from plants grown in the 
conservatory must be planted fresh, when still red, for if 
allowed to dry they become useless. 22 

With every detail to cultivation which tradition has in- 
spired, the Coca crop is not always secure, for the cocals are 
subject to the attacks of several pests, which, while a constant 
source of annoyance may at times seriously damage the 
shrubs. Below an altitude of four thousand feet there is the 
ulo, a little butterfly, which during a dry spell deposits its 
eggs, and as the grubs develop they devour the younger leaves. 
In the older cocals an insect called mougna sometimes intro- 

22 Mariani; person, com.; 1899. 


duces itself into the trunk of the shrub and occasions its with- 
ering. M. Grandidier speaks of a disease termed cupa, or 
cucliupa, in the valley of the Santa Marta, which has de- 
stroyed an entire crop within eight days. From an attack of 
this not only the immediate leaf is rendered small and bit- 
ter, but during the following year the shrub remains unpro- 
ductive, and a gall-like excrescence is developed termed sarna 
mocllo seeds of gall. Some cultivators at the first indica- 
tion of this disease prune the affected twigs and so succeed in 
raising a new crop by the next harvest. 

The ant, cuqui, which is a great pest through all the mon- 
tana, is a dangerous evil to the Coca plant. It not only cuts 
the roots, but disintegrates the bark and destroys the leaves, 
and in a single night may ruin an entire plantation. In fact, 
the sagacity of the traditional ant is outdone by these pests. 
Some of them are capable of carrying a kernel of corn, and an 
army of them will run off with a bag of corn in a night, kernel 
by kernel, making a distinct trail in the line of their depre- 
dations. They build their nests of leaves, twigs and earth, 
and even construct an underground system of channels to sup- 
ply their hillocks with water. It is extremely difficult to keep 
them out of a cocal, as they will burrow under the deepest 
ditches, and the only method of being free from them is to 
destroy their hills wherever they are found. Another enemy 
to the shrub is a long bluish earthworm, which eats the roctfs 
and so occasions the -death of the plant. Then a peculiar 
fungus, known as taja, forms at times on the tender twigs, oc- 
casioned by injury or from poor nutrition. Aside from these 
pests, there are a number of weeds which are particularly in- 
jurious to Coca, among which are the Panicum platicaule, 
P. scandens, P. decumbens, Panniseium Peruvianum, Dri- 
maria, and Pieris araclmoidea. 23 These plants grow rapidly 
and take so much nourishment from the soil as to destroy the 
nutrition of the Coca shrub. For a similar reason the plant- 
ing of anything between the rows- is now abandoned. 

There grows on the trunks and branches of the older Coca 
shrubs various species of lichens, termed lacco, which, while 

Toeppig; 1836. 



not known to be detrimental, may even have a marked in- 
fluence on the alkaloidal yield of the leaf. Two very pretty 
specimens in the herbarium of Columbia University show 
the Parmelia and Usnea. These formed part of a collection 


From the Herbarium of Columbia University. Drawn from, Nature. 

a, a, a, Species of Parmelia; 6, 6, Usnea Barbata. 

made by Miguel Bang, during 1890, in the Province of Yun- 
gas, Bolivia, from a cocal at an altitude of 6,000 feet. 24 

In describing any plant it is the ideal of botanists to base 
their studies upon an example growing under natural con- 
ditions. It is inferred that cultivation causes a variability 
which may occasion considerable alteration from the original 

24 Distributed by Drs. Britton and Rusby. 


type. Considering the 'centuries elapsed during which we 
have any historical references to the use of Coca among the 
Peruvians, it is remarkable to note how uniformly the charac- 
teristics of the plant are continued. Even at the period of 
the Spanish invasion there was a tradition which traced its 
revered use among the Incans back through many centuries, 
when it was employed for the precise purposes for which it has 
been continued. Yet fo* hundreds of years after the first 
facts concerning Coca were introduced into Europe the avail- 
able knowledge was largely legendary, and because of the phe- 
nomenal properties always assigned to its use Coca was com- 
monly regarded as fabulous. During all this period, how- 
ever, the plant has maintained its classic peculiarities, and 
supposed variations probably result more from the demands of 
commerce than through a natural modification. 

In studying the history of a plant it would seem the 
proper course should be to endeavor to first trace its tradi- 
tional description and uses and to then harmonize these with 
modern scientific facts. Unfortunately in the case of Coca, 
the earlier records have been largely ignored through preju- 
dice, the descriptions which have been presented to the scien- 
tific world having often been the arbitrary outcroppings of 
convenience based upon the writings of travellers through cer- 
tain localities, while the conclusions drawn from these ac- 
counts have been of a generalizing nature. It seems only 
necessary to suggest this possible source of error to show how 
readily confusion may be engendered. 

It is always difficult to determine whether a plant, ap- 
parently growing wild, is a representative indigenous species 
which has existed from an early period or has been introduced 
from some distant locality. The scattering of seeds, by the 
winds, or birds, as well as by other unconscious means, may 
be one source of distribution of a plant through a wide region, 
though as a rule the abode of each species may be regarded as 
nearly constant. One of the strongest evidences of the an- 

1. E. Coca of Commerce. 2. E. Coca. Bonpland : (Cuzco). 3. E. Coca, 
Weddle : (Bolivia). 4. E. Coca. Poeppig ; (Pern). 5. E. Coca, Triana ; 
(New Granada). G. E. Coca. Triana; (New Granada). 7. E. Coca, 
Ilondense, Kunth : (New Granada). 



Fig. 7. 




Fig. 2. 

[See description on opposite page.] 


tiquity of a plant in its native home is the finding of its fossil 
remains. While we have no such record in the history of 
Coca, we have innumerable examples of Coca leaves found in 
relics and with mummies of great antiquity, which indicate in 
the strongest possible way that Coca has been indigenous to 
Peru through many hundreds of years. 

Through the courtesy of the Curator of the Department of 
Peruvian Antiquities at the American Museum of Natural 

American Museum of Natural History. 

History, I obtained a specimen of very ancient Coca leaves, 
together with a little bag of llipta, all of which was contained 
in a chuspa of the ordinary Incan order. These had been 
taken from a mummy pack found in a tomb at Arica. This 
mummy wore a cap shaped like a Turkish fez, woven of coarse 
wool in unique design, over which was a covering of feathers, 
surmounted with a green tassel-like feather, making a very 
imposing head dress and indicating that the subject had been 
a person of rank. One hand bore a white flint knife, with a 
handle made by binding cloth about one end of the flint. 

In the pack with the mummy, which had every evidence of 


extreme antiquity, was a papal bull dated 1571. Allowing 
some twenty years for this document to have found its way to 
Peru, this would make the mummy over three hundred years 
old. That this was so, may be inferred from the fact that no 
other European object was found in the pack, everything 
being of an aboriginal order before the influence of the Con- 
quest had been manifest. The leaves were dry and very brit- 
tle and of a light brownish color. The llipta was in soft yel- 
low lumps. A reproduction of these leaves proves them to be 
of the variety which we to-day understand as Truxillo or 
Peruvian Coca. They vary in size from a half inch in length 
to pieces showing a probable length of some three inches. 
They all plainly show the peculiar characteristic markings of 
Coca, the lateral lines being well made out. Unfortunately 
this mummy pack had been treated with antiseptics before it 
was opened, which rendered it impossible to note the taste of 
the leaves, and there was not sufficient of them to attempt an 
assay. By a comparison of the plate with the accompanying 
one of recent Coca leaves it will be seen that there is no ma- 
terial difference, and certainly no ground to presume that the 
classic Coca of Peru is extinct or modified. (Page 250-251.} 

In a choice collection of leaves from the district of Cara- 
vaya I have found every variety of leaf present, the pro- 
nounced obovate, the long narrow leaf, the leaf with the little 
point extending as though a continuation of the inner leaf, 
and the distinctly lanceolate, so that it is quite probable that 
more than one variety of Coca is grown in one plantation. 

The Coca which comes to the markets of the commercial 
world is broadly grouped in two varieties, the Bolivian or 
Iluanuco and the Peruvian or Truxillo variety, the character- 
istic difference between the two varieties being that the Boliv- 
ian leaf is thick, dark green colored above and yellowish be- 
neath, while the Peruvian leaf is smaller, more delicate, 
lighter color and grayish beneath. Manufacturers of cocaine 
use practically nothing except the Bolivian or Huanuco Coca, 
which contains the highest percentage of cocaine and the least 
quantity of associate alkaloids, which cocaine manufacturers 
have regarded as "objectionable" because they will not crystal- 





lize. While medicinally the Coca yielding a combination of 
alkaloids is preferred, the two varieties of leaf are entirely dis- 
tinct as to flavor, being more pronouncedly bitter in propor- 
tion to the relative amount of cocaine present. 

Botanists have endeavored to still further divide the com- 
mercial varieties of Coca because of certain peculiarities of 
the leaf. Some years ago Mr. Morris, of Kew, in describing 
the Truxillo variety of Peruvian Coca, named it Novo Grana- 
tense, because it was presumably a native of New Grenada. 
Shortly after Dr. Burck, of Buitenzorg, Java, described the 
variety collected by Dr. Spruce on the banks of the Rio Negro, 
which he named after its discoverer, E. Spruceanum. He 
also described a variety of Huanuco Coca which he considered 
approached the classic type of Lamarck, and named it Ery- 
throxylon Bolivianum. Thus we have Peruvian or Truxillo 
Coca, variety Novo Granatense, Morris, and Bolivian or Hua- 
nuco Coca, which is identical with ErytJiroxylon Bolivianum, 

The shape of the Coca leaf is a question which has excited 
considerable discussion among botanists, who have regarded 
as striking characteristics details which are seemingly unim- 
portant to the casual observer. Undoubtedly much of the 
early confusion in attempts at classifying Coca from the ac- 
counts of travellers and writers has arisen from unscientific 
description. The illustrations have often been carelessly 
drawn, and this pictorial difference has represented technical 
faults of the illustrator rather than any actual variation of the 
leaf itself. In many instances the characteristics of Coca 
have not been clearly indicated. The result has been to con- 
fuse those seeking details. 

As a matter of fact, there is considerable variation in size 
and shape of the Coca leaf, a variation not due to the fact that 
the leaves have been collected from several varieties of Coca 
or even from several different shrubs, but upon one Coca 
plant there may be found leaves of varying form and size. 

The Coca collected by Jussieu was from the Yungas of 
Bolivia, while the bulk of Coca used by the Andeans is grown 
in Peru. It is the plant used by these Indians, the properties 



of which have been exalted from the time of the Incas, to 
which all the traditions of Coca are attached, and really one 
would be more justified in saying that the specimens sent by 
Jussieu from Bolivia were a modification of the historical 
Incan plant than to say that the Peruvian grown species is a 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 1. E. Coca, Lamarck. Fig. 2. E. Coca, Lara., var. Bolirianum, Burck. 
Fig. 3. E. Coca, Lam., var. Spruceanum, Burck. Fig. 4. E. Coca, Lam., 
var. Novo-Oranatense, Morris. 

variation. The Indians prefer Peruvian Coca, and but for 
the importance to Bolivian Coca through cocaine less of the 
latter variety would be grown. Any attempt to describe Coca 
as a whole from any one variety, it will be seen, must be con- 
fusional, Bolivian Coca being rich in cocaine, while Peruvian 

27 Burck; 1892. 


Coca is richer in aromatic alkaloids. This variation is still 
maintained in the plants grown artificially at Paris and in the 

Plants and seeds of several varieties of Coca have been dis- 
tributed to the botanical gardens of the English colonies at 
Demerara, Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Alipore, where they are 
cultivated in a commercial way and where they have been 
carefully studied under the new conditions of environment. 
Having in mind the history of cinchona, which had been taken 
from its native home in the montana of Peru and so success- 
fully cultivated in the East, it seems a natural inference that 
Coca may also be grown scientifically under similar facilities 
where the possibility for distribution would be superior to 
the crude Andean methods. Certain parts of Java are 
particularly suggestive of the Coca region of Peru. The 
country is traversed by two chains of mountains which 
are volcanic, and, as in the Andean region, the vegetation 
varies with the altitude. From the seaboard to an elevation 
of 2,000 feet the growth is of a tropical nature, and rice, cot- 
ton and spices abound. Above this to 4,500 feet coffee, tea 
and sugar are raised, while still higher, to 7,500 feet, only the 
plants of a temperate region can be grow r n. 

There are many details essential in the cultivation of tea 
and coffee \vhich suggest similar necessities in the cultivation 
of Coca. In Ceylon the best coffee is grown from 3,000 to 
4,500 feet above the sea, where rain is frequent and the tem- 
perature moderate, and, like Coca, the higher the altitude in 
which the shrub can be cultivated without frost, the better is 
the quality of the product. Although the yield may be less, 
the aromatic principles are more abundant and finer than that 
produced in the lowlands. Similar hilly ground where there 
is good drainage is best adapted for the growth of tea. The 
shrubs do not yield leaves fit for picking before the third year, 
the produce increasing yearly until the tenth year. The 
yield from the tea plant is about the same as that from Coca, 
but the young leaves of tea are usually gathered, while only 
the matured leaves of Coca are picked. 

The climate, the environment, the method of cultivation 


and even the uses all seem paralleled in tea, coffee and Coca, 
but the benefits of application are immensely in favor of Coca. 
Tea and coffee were introduced into Europe in the sixteenth 
century, about the period when we have the first historical 
record of Coca. They were not then popular beverages as now, 
and it was only after much prejudice had been overcome that 
they were considered necessary. As the properties of Coca 
become better appreciated there is every reason to suppose 
this substance will come into as general use in every household 
as a stimulant rendering a clear head instead of the hot and 
congested one so apt to follow the use of coffee or tea Coca 
does not impair the stomach, while it possesses the added ad- 
vantage of freeing the circulation from impurities instead of, 
like tea and coffee, adding additional waste products to the 
blood stream, as has been suggested by Morton 20 and by 
Haig. 26 

The Coca leaf affords a most exquisite subject for histo- 
logical study. Viewed in transverse section, the flattened 
cells of the upper epidermis are large, oblong and of irregular 
shape ; their outer walls are thicker than the walls between the 
cells and give the surface of the leaf a wavy outline. Beneath 
this protective layer is a single row of upright cells the pal- 
isade tissue which are filled with chlorophyl granules. 
These cells have very thin walls and they are compactly set 
together, diverging only at their lower edge, where the under- 
lying spongy tissue is less compact. Here and there may be 
found cells containing crystals of oxalate of lime. Imme- 
diately beneath the palisade row of cells are irregularly 
shaped and loosely united, affording many inter-cellular 
spaces except where the more compact tissue surrounds the 
fibro-vascular bundle, which constitutes the veins. The epi- 
dermal cells of the lower surface of the leaf* are smaller and 
more uniform in size than those of the upper epidermis. 
The lateral walls of the cells are straight and their outer 
walls are much thicker at their central part than their mar- 
ginal joinings, thus forming a papillary projection, which is 
characteristic. At intervals these cells are interrupted by the 

25 Morton, 1879. 2e Haig, 1897. 




Fig. 6. 

Fig. 8. 

[See description on opposite page.] 


little breathing places or stomata, bounded on either side by 
modified epidermal cells that are not papillose. 

A transverse section of the leaf in the bud shows that it is 
rolled from its margin toward the midrib in such a way that 
the lateral lines lie close together. When such a leaf is care- 
fully opened the midrib may be seen to be of the same color as 
the leaf, pale green, and succulent, tapering from the petiole 
until it is lost in the upper third of the leaf, while from the 
tip there is a terminal projection, slightly hooked, one mil- 
limetre long and of a very much paler green than the rest of 
the leaf. The margin of the upper half of the leaf shows a 
slight wavy outline, probably due to the more rigid venation. 
The lateral curved lines are distinctly marked as projections 
on the under surface of the leaf, which is slightly concave 
from the midrib to the margin on either side. 

The following is a resume of the Coca shrub more in tech- 
nical detail : 

Erythroxylon Coca, as cultivated in the montana of the 
Andes, grows upon a delicate shrub, which varies according to 
the altitude, locality and conditions of its culture. It is com- 
monly kept by pruning to a height of from three to six feet for 
convenience of picking. Examples which are found growing 
out of cultivation are commonly seen ten or twelve feet high. 

The root on which the Coca shrub is dependent to imbibe 
the nutrition for the plant forms a loose tuft or cluster of 
fibres, which end in fine hair-like rootlets. 

The trunk is covered with a rough bark, commonly over- 
grown with various species of. lichens a complex colony of 

Fig. 1. Transverse section of a young Coca leaf near the tip : a, midrib : 6, b, 
lateral lines, prominent only on under surface. Pig. 2. Tipper surface 
of an opening Coca leaf, showing manner of its unrolling. Pig. 3. Under 
surface of a similar leaf. Fig. 4. Transverse section of the lower half 
of a young Coca leaf, showing manner in which it is rolled; a, midrib: 
I), prominence of lateral lines. Fig. 5. Transverse section of Coca leaf 
through a lateral line, a. Fig. 6. Under epidermis of a Coca leaf along 
a lateral line: a, stomata or breathing places; t>, papillose cells; c, cells 
of the lateral line. Fig. 7. Upper epidermis of the Coca leaf. Fig. 8. 
Transverse section of a Coca leaf near the midrib ; a, epidermal cells of 
upper surface : 6, single row of palisade cells, with contained chlorophyl 
granules; c, spongy tissue of body of leaf; d, epidermal cells of lower 
surface; e, crystal of oxalate of lime; f, region of the midrib. 


algae and fungi which apparently find favorable growth 
from the nature of the plant and the surrounding moist at- 
mosphere. The shrub branches sparingly and these are alter- 
nate, either opening straight out from the sides of the trunk 
or ascending slightly, at times a little forked and bearing 
scanty foliage, the entire arrangement being adapted to afford 
a large surface for light and air to favor the nutrition of the 
plant. The color of the twigs varies from the pale fern-like 
green of the scaly tips to a deeper apple green, and as the 
firmer stem is formed the color deepens through various tints 
of brown until the gray bark of the trunk is reached. 

The leaves are arranged as the branches alternate, and 
so placed that their upper surface looks toward the apex of 
the stem, while the lower surface is directed away from it 
dorsiventral as it is termed. The shape of all varieties of the 
Coca leaf tends to oblong forms, narrowing at each end, in 
some examples gradually, in others more abruptly, the base of 
the leaf tapering into a short petiole or leaf stalk. Lamarck 
described the Coca leaf of Jussieu as "oval pointed." The 
leaf of Bolivian Coca is large, elliptical, oval, broader above 
its middle, while the Peruvian leaf is more narrow obovate, or 
lanceolate. The Brazilian, the Colombian and also the Javan 
Coca have each a smaller leaf than either of the preceding, 
tending to oval, broadest in the middle, from which it tapers 
to the apex above and to the base below. The margin of the 
leaf of all varieties is without notching entire. The apex 
of some varieties is depressed at the extremity of the midrib 
emarginate, and there is often a little soft hooked point, as 
though a continuation of the midrib mucronate. This point 

Fig. I. Flower bud, a, in axil of leaves showing the bracts, &. Fig. 2. Section 
of Coca flower showing the arrangement of its parts; a, the calyx; 6, the 
petals: c, the stamens; d, ovary, and contained ovules, e. Fig. 3. The 
expanded flower. Fig. 4. Flower seen from below. Fig. 5. Flower seen 
from above. Fig. 6. Separate petal, showing tooth-like appendage, a. 
Fig. 7. Petal seen from above. Fig. 8. The tooth-like appendage of the 
petal seen from its attachment. Fig. 9. Flower stripped of petals; a, 
anthers of stamens ft; c, styles and stigmas of pistil; d, ovary; e, cupule of 
stamens the iirrcolns Klamineus of Martius; f, calyx. Fig. 10. Pistil, with 
cupule and stamens removed. Fig. 11. Diagram of fertilization, [after 
Darwin]; A, long styled; B, short styled; a, legitimate union; 0, 0, Ille- 
gitimate union. 




X 10' 

[See description on opposite page.] 


is light in color in the fresh leaf, but soon withers and drops 
in the dried specimen. 

The size of the leaf varies from two centimetres to ten cen- 
timetres in length (about three-quarters to four inches), and 
in breadth from two centimetres to four and one-half centi- 
metres (about three-quarters to one and three-quarter inches). 
This variation in size is found not only in different varieties 
of the plant, but occurs upon different shrubs of the same 
variety, due to varying conditions of growth. There is, how- 
ever, a variation in the size, shape and texture of the leaves 
upon any one shrub and even upon the same branch of one 

The texture of the leaf is thin, delicate and herbaceous 
and its substance intersected by a minute and intricate net- 
work of veins. The finer extremities of the veins as they ap- 
proach the margin of the leaf anastomose like the minute 
capillaries of the animal circulation. By a low magnification 
this venation is seen to be slightly more elevated above the ven- 
tral surface or face of the leaf. Viewed by transmitted light 
this network appears light brown or rosy in tint, contrasting 
markedly with the bright green of the substance of the blade. 
The fresh leaf is an emerald green on the face, which is soft, 
smooth and even shiny, while the under surface is paler and 
grayish. The midrib is delicate and in some varieties it does 
not project above the face of the leaf notably in the Javan 
Coca. The Bolivian Coca is characterized by a ridge or crest 
extending along its entire upper surface, which in Truxillo 
Coca has been described as obliquely truncate, 27 a feature I 
have not seen in any example. 

!7 Schneider; 1898. 

Fig. 1. Tip of Coca spray, with ripe fruit, a, and growing stem with buds, b, 
with a young leaf and the triangular stipules at its base. c. Fig. 2. 
Dried fruit. Fig. 3. The six-lobed nut. Fig. 4. Longitudinal section 
through fruit: a, scarlet coat: b. pink fleshy substance: c, thin shell of 
nut : d, white starchy-albumen : e, suspended embryo ; f, dried styles. Fig. 
5. Transverse section of fruit, the references the same as in Fig. 4 : 
g, two aborted ovules. Fig. 6. Embryo removed from seed : a, the 
radical : b, two cotyledons shown forced open at c. Fig. 7. a, Stamens 
of uniform length, seen from without the cupule, b, showing cells: c. rela- 
tive size of pollen grains to anthers : d, pollen magnified 200 diameters. 
Fig. 8. , Stamens of unequal length seen from within the cupule. b, 
showing attachment. 



Fig. 7. 

X 7 

Fig. 8. 

X 7 




Fig. 3. x 2.^ 




DETAILS OF THE COCA FRUIT AND SEED Studies Drawn from Nature. 
[See description on opposite page.] 


To either side of the midrib there is a curved line, ar- 
ranged elliptically from the petiole to the apex, presumably 
occasioned by the pressure of the rolled up leaf when in the 
bud. These lines are commonly more pronounced upon the 
lower surface. Gosse considers that they are more frequent 
in young leaves and are gradually effaced as the leaf develops, 
but the lateral lines are found in a majority of specimens of 
mature Coca leaves, and their presence constitutes a unique 
marking of the Erythroxylon family. By transmitted light 
that portion of the leaf included between the lateral line and 
the midrib appears of deeper shade, as though the tissue was 
more dense, and there is possibly a finer and more numerous 
division of the veins in that region. After prolonged soaking 
in w r ater this deeper tint is less perceptible. 

At the base of each leaf there is a pair of little appendages 
stipules ovate in shape and united along their inner bor- 
ders to form a thin triangular organ, at first green with a 
whitish top, becoming brown and stiff, and persistent after 
the fall of the leaf, forming a scaly projection upon the 

The flower buds occur in the axils of the leaves, either soli- 
tary, or in groups of two to six. The bud is ovoid oblong, 
under a low power, looking very much like a bishop's mitre. 
As there is no definite limit to the number of leaves on a Coca 
shrub, so each new growth may be followed by new flowers, 
and it is very common to see bud, blossom and fruit upon the 
plant at one time. The floral plan is in five quincunxial 
the leaves of the calyx and the corolla being arranged spirally 
and overlapping like scales, either dextrorse or sinistrorse in 
the bud. At the base of the peduncle or stalk, about a cen- 
timetre long, which bears the flower, is a miniature leaf or 
bract. This is scaly, oval or triangular, similar to the stip- 
ules of the leaves, but shorter and more delicate. 

The flowers are about a centimetre long, delicate, creamy 
white and exhaling a faint odor. They bear both stamens 
and pistils in the same blossom, and hence are termed perfect. 
Their outer circle of leaves the calyx, is green, composed of 
five smooth, oval, triangular pointed, lobed sepals, united be- 


low and free above, the whole covered in some specimens with 
a delicate bloom glaucous. That portion of the flower 
which is within the calyx the corolla is composed of five 
creamy leaves or petals, arranged above the sepals and alter- 
nate with them. The petals are of uniform shape, oval ob- 
long, obtuse with a central nerve terminating in a little hooded 
point. Their upper surface is depressed longitudinally, 
which at the back shows as a keel. Their upper two-thirds is 
irregularly concave and the lower third is narrowed into a 
triangular groove or fold. Near the base inside is an ovoid 
wavy tooth, or claw-like appendage, half the length of the 
petal, and so attached that when the petals are united to form 
the corolla these processes present in the centre of the ex- 
panded flower as a little crown. The entire corolla soon falls, 
leaving the naked pistil. 

The flower has ten slender stamens, the filaments of which 
are erect, pale yellowish green, either the length of the corolla 
or of alternate lengths, those opposite the petals being longer 
than those opposite the sepals. They are inserted below the 
pistil, coalescing on the inner side of a short membranaceous 
cupule the urceolus stamineus of Martius, which surrounds 
the ovary and presents obtuse tooth-like projections outside 
and between the filaments. Upon each filament is attached 
by its base a small yellow oblong compartment or anther, 
which contains the pollen, the grains of which are granular 
and spheroidal, or smooth and oval similar to those of the lily. 

The pistil has three irregular, divergent cylindrical, pale 
yellowish, green styles, which may be either longer or shorter 
than the stamens. Each bears a flattened cap of loose tissue 
the stigma, to receive the pollen from the opening anthers. 
The ovary with its contained ovules fertilization of which 
generates the seeds of the plant, is situated above the calyx. 
It is obovate, pale yellowish green, smooth, with three com- 
partments, from the summit of each of which is suspended 
an ovule, but before the ovary ripens to form the fruit two of 
its three compartments are obliterated. 

When fresh the fruit is fleshy, mucilaginous, ovate, one to 
one and one-half centimetres long (three-eighths to five-eighths 



of an inch), smooth and having the remnants of the dried 
styles at its apex and the adherent calyx and cupule at its 
base. Its color, at first pale green, changes through varying 
tints to scarlet at maturity and is bluish black when dried, 
while its form shrivels to the irregular lobed shape of the con- 
tents. The seed, slightly shorter than the fruit, is pointed at 
each end, with six longitudinal lobes, smooth and of a pale, 
flesh color. Its outer coat is very thin and the kernel, which 
completely fills the inner coat, is white, hard, albuminous and 
starchy. In this nutrient substance is suspended the straight 
green embryo or germ, half its length being the radical to 
form the root, while the balance composes the two flat cotyle- 
dons or seed leaves, and between these is the minute plumule, 
from which may develop the first shoot of the new Coca 



'Of all the Plants that any Soil does bear, 

This Tree in Fruits the richest does appear, 

It bears the best, and bears them all the Year." 


descending the slope of the Andes, from the 
bleak, barren heights of sierra to the eastern 
montana, the soil at first thin gradually 
improves as the timber line is reached. 
What at first appears like the scrawly brush of the barren 
mountain is soon found to be the scraggy tops of a more favor- 
able growth beneath. The trees now loom into full view, 



weirdly draped with Spanish moss and bearing a host of para- 
sitic growths in witness of the increasing humidity. As the 
declivity is now more steep, transition from the colder heights 
to commencing vegetation seems to be with an abruptness sug- 
gestive of a descent by balloon, rather than Nature's pano- 
rama of the shifting seasons here set on end instead of travers- 
ing the country. 

Everywhere there is a wealth of tropical plants, both wild 
and cultivated. The air is filled with the odor of sweet per- 
fume from myriads of flowers, while here and there are 
sharply defined the clearings of the cocals, or Coca planta- 
tions, which commence at an altitude of about 5,000 feet. 
The whole scene presents a marked contrast to the former 

At times the mountains are surrounded by terraces, as 
though some giant stairway overgrown with an interlacing of 
tropical vegetation. In the utter barrenness of the western 
Cordillera terraces are built upon the bare rock with soil that 
must be brought from a long distance, but in the montana 
these are constructed for a different reason. The mountains 
are so precipitous that when a clearing is made the earth has 
no longer the support which it had from the roots of trees, and 
during a rain would be washed away unless held by the walls. 
These are built around the sides of the mountain, the height 
of the wall and the width of the terrace varying according to 
the inclination of the hill, while retaining an appropriate soil 
in which the Coca bushes are set out. 

Often these terrace beds are looked upon with envious eyes 
by some less industrious neighbor, and although the Indian is 
ordinarily honest and really too apathetic to be aroused to any 
serious transgression, the ease with which he may appropriate 
this desirable earth brought so ready to his uses may prove 
irresistible. The result is that the local tribunal has more 
occasion to settle the petty disputes arising from stealing a 
few bushels of dirt than for more serious offences. 

The terraces known as andeneria are usually built 
along the base of some hill where the declivity may afford aid 
to the Indian in making a clearing and yet where the drainage 




is suitable. On some slopes the inclination exceeds forty-five 
degrees, and the laborer is obliged to hold on with one hand 
while attending to cultivation with the other. There are 
many Coca plantations throughout Peru which are supposed 
to have existed for hundreds of years, and these choice loca- 
tions are pointed to with reverential regard as having been 
continued from the days of the Incas. 

The raising of Coca is the chief industry of certain dis- 
tricts of the montaiia, and at one time the Peruvian govern- 
ment derived a considerable annual tax from it, but this is 
now only municipal, as at Huosa, where a tax of forty cents 
per quintal is imposed. In Bolivia the Coca traffic is said to 
be controlled by the State similar to the manner in which cin- 
chona is regulated, the government reserving the right of pur- 
chase, a privilege commonly sold at auction to the highest bid- 
der. Years ago Poeppig estimated the profit on a Coca plan- 
tation to be fully fifty per cent., and quite recently a promi- 
nent grower at Sandia said that a cocal would pay all expenses 
in two years if three crops could be obtained, while often there 
are four harvests. 

Coca is cultivated in accordance with the same simple tra- 
ditions which have been handed down from early Incan times, 
and there is still associated with it much of superstitious in- 
fluence. Some Indians believe if a Coca bush be touched at 
its top by either man or beast the plant will surely die, while 
for a stranger to sleep near to a pile of drying leaves is con- 
sidered dangerous. The Colombians say that no one should 
attempt to cultivate Coca who has not been favored with in- 
herited talent in this direction, under the penalty of direful 
consequences, to say the least. Their women are not permit- 
ted to take any part in the several processes of the preparation 
of the leaf, 1 which is similar to a restriction against women at 
a certain period in some of the French vineyards. 

Customs were so instilled in the laboring class of the Incas 
that the lapse of centuries has not changed them, and so the 
methods of cultivating Coca, described by Spanish writers 
immediately after the Conquest, may still be seen carried out 

1 Sievers; 1887. 


with a minuteness of detail to-day. For just as Coca is in- 
digenous to Peru, so too is the method of its cultivation, and 
each district has continued from generation to generation the 
traditions and processes of its predecessors, which, though 
varying in some trifle from those practiced in some other dis- 
tricts, are commonly similar throughout the Coca region. 

During the time of the Incas the terrace method of growth 
was that generally pursued, for east of the Andes the montafia 
was thickly beset with unsubdued tribes of savages who re- 
sisted all attempts to infringe upon their territory. With 
the advent of the Spanish, and their recognition of the neces- 
sity for Coca in order to force the greatest endeavor from the 
Indian laborers in the mines, they pushed its cultivation fur- 
ther east and planted cocals in clearings made for that pur- 
pose. As these were abandoned for other localities more con- 
venient to their interests, the surrounding savages who had 
been driven from this land were quick to return, and so what 
at one time was a luxuriant Coca plantation soon became cov- 
ered through neglect with the prolific growths of the jungle 
and reverted into an apparently virgin forest. 

So sudden may be the change here whenever cultivation is 
intermitted that it is difficult to appreciate its effect. The 
mighty trees of the forest are almost constantly falling, or are 
even pulled down by the parasitic vines with which they are 
encumbered, and once fallen they are immediately attacked 
and disintegrated by "a host of politic worms" and insects, 
which crumble them into humus, while above and about these 
fallen hulks there is soon entwined the unkempt network o an 
impenetrable jungle. In some cases a tree may so fall as to 
span a stream and thus form a natural bridge, and such is the 
ordinary footpath over many a winding river. 

Man does not walk through the montafia on the ground, 
unless paths have already been cut, but his way must be hewn 
with the machete, and then the walk is between an interlacing 
of vines and over, the trunks of fallen trees, where progress 
at best is exceedingly slow and laborious. There is a wealth 
of everything, but it is of that wild, rugged and uncultivated 
nature which overpowers and even kills through a mere pro- 



fusion. One may stand knee-deep in fuschias, geraniums, 
gentians and begonias, of a variety more choice than are com- 
monly tenderly cultivated in more temperate climes, but 
which here are as great a nuisance as would be so many weeds 
where choicer growth is wished. Amidst an immensity of 
vegetation there are giant palms, tree-ferns, and an occasional 
cinchona towering far above one's head. Around are un- 
named and innumerable dainty wax-like orchids, quite as 
common as is the hardy cactus of the bleak mountain heights, 
while butterflies, with the most gorgeous coloration, and of 
innumerable species, flutter like the fall of autumn leaves, but 
the beauty is lost in the annoyance of over-abundance. 


The surface under cultivation in the little chacras, or co- 
cals where Coca is grown, is estimated by the cato. This is a 
piece of ground containing about nine hundred square meters 
or a little less than a quarter of an acre. Each Coca bush 
yields an average of four ounces of leaves, which dry out fully 
sixty per cent. Calculating the shrubs as set two by three 
feet apart, there would be upwards of seven thousand upon an 
acre of ground, or nearly eighteen hundred to a cato. A yield 
of four ounces from each bush would amount to four hundred 
and fifty pounds per cato at each harvest, and three harvests 


a year would yield an annual crop of thirteen hundred and 
fifty pounds of fresh leaves, or five hundred and forty pounds 
when cured and packed. 

Usually the cocals are conducted by an Indian and his 
immediate family. When help is employed in harvesting the 
pickers are paid sixty cents of native money at present equal 
to some twenty-nine cents of United States coin for each 
thirty pounds of leaves picked. Adding to this an equal ex- 
pense for cultivation, Coca under favorable conditions costs 
the planter less than three cents a pound at his cocal. When 
the product is exported the expense of transportation by mule 
or llama over the mountains to the sea must be considered in 

Coca is packed in a variety of ways, according to the dis- 
trict from which it is shipped. It is sometimes shaped by 
crude wooden presses into bales, or at times it is trodden into 
sacks stamped Coca, though this is apt to break the leaf. 
In some districts the leaves are sprinkled with charcoal, to 
keep them moist. The bales are done up in huge banana 
leaves, bound with an outer wrapping of coarse woolen cloth 
known as bay eta, or jerga; these wrappings varying in color 
or quality in different localities. In Huanuco they are gray 
or black ; in other provinces gray, white or brown. At times 
the sacking in which the bales are done up is woven in colored 
patterns. Such a package is termed a cesta and weighs from 
twenty-one to twenty-five pounds, the variation depending on 
the means adopted for transportation. Two cestas constitute 
a tambor, and in localities where Coca is conveyed on the 
backs of mules three tambores are united in one package, so 
that one hundred and fifty pounds may be carried each side of 
the animal, but where Coca is carried by llamas the cesta is 
smaller, because this beast can bear much less than half the 
burden of the mule. 

Improperly packed leaves are liable to undergo secondary 
fermentation, and this not only deprives them of their essen- 
tial qualities, but occasions the development of new ones 
which are undesirable, or, as the Indians term, cholarse,. It 
has been presumed that it is at this time that objectionable 




alkaloids are formed as a result of decomposition. To avoid 
this it is desirable that the packages of Coca shall be in small 

For native consumption Coca is often packed in small lots 
sufficient to last one user about a month. 
Some of these packages are given various 
geometrical shapes and are covered with 
weavings of vari-colored wicker and cords 
so artistically, that the wrappings are 
sought as ornaments to hang in the houses 
after the Coca has been consumed. 

The chief places for the shipment of 
Coca are Salaverry the port of Truxillo 
in the north, and Mollendo the terminus 
of the railroad from the Titicaca region in 
the south. 

There are two varieties of leaf coming to 
the North American market : the Huanuco 
or large leaf, sometimes referred to 
as the Bolivian Coca, and the Truxillo or narrow leaf, 
known as Peruvian Coca. In selecting a leaf the several 
manufacturers with whom I have corresponded have assured 
me that they base their choice upon the assay and yield of 
cocaine. For this reason the Huanuco leaf is the variety 
commonly found in the market, as it contains a larger amount 
of cocaine than the Truxillo leaf, which is considered less 
profitable because of its lower yield of this alkaloid. The 
native user, however, does not select the hatun-yunca or 
large leaf Coca, his choice never being influenced by the 
amount of cocaine presumably present in the leaf chosen. 
Locally the distinction is made between hajas dulces the 
sweet leaf, and Tiajas amargas the bitter leaf, the amount of 
cocaine present occasioning the bitter quality, while a com- 
bination of aromatic principles renders the leaf of more desir- 
able flavor. These principles, though commonly asserted to be 
exceedingly volatile, are still found in well preserved exported 

The physiological accounts hitherto published of the ac- 


tion of Coca are often confusional because this distinction in 
the variety of leaf has not been considered, while many ex- 
perimenters have contented themselves with enumerating the 
physiological effects of cocaine rather than that of Coca. In 
this connection Dr. Rusby says : "In my article* I took ac- 
count of the Bolivian Coca only, which is practically the same 
as the Peruvian, or Huanuco variety, which is the one used 
for the manufacture of cocaine. As the leaves are found here 
in the dried state, their properties are, I believe, almost 
wholly due to the presence of cocaine, quite different from the 
properties of the fresh, or very recently dried leaves. There 
is another variety of Coca differing from the Huanuco vari- 
ety, known as Truxillo leaves, the properties of which as 
found in this market differ from the Huanuco leaves, while 
more nearly resembling them in their fresh or recently dried 
state and as used in the Andes by the natives. You will thus 
see that all your labors in the direction of physiological re- 
search are likely to be fruitless, unless you will be able to 
ascertain in each case which variety of leaf was used by the 
one making the report. This I believe to be wholly impos- 
sible. Ninety-nine per cent, of our physicians scarcely know 
that there are two varieties, or at least that the varieties differ 
in any way medicinally. The endeavor has been to prevent 
physicians from learning facts concerning drugs. It is not 
likely that they can learn from the pharmacist which leaf he 
used at any particular time, for various reasons." 2 The 
biased effort, therefore, to misjudge preparations of Coca be- 
cause they are not rich in cocaine is but an outgrowth of im- 
perfect knowledge, for the unique quality of the Coca leaf is 
not solely dependent upon the presence of that alkaloid. It 
is as Dr. Squibb long since asserted from an intimate study 
of the qualities of Coca : "But as there is undoubtedly a value 
to Coca which is not measured by the yield of alkaloid, the 
proportion of alkaloid does not disprove the alleged inferi- 
ority." 3 

Thus it will be seen that the Coca leaf as used among the 
Indians of Peru is one thing, and the variety exported because 

* Coca at Home and Abroad. 2 Person, com.; 1898. 8 EpJiemeris; May, 1880. 


of its large alkaloidal percentage of cocaine is wholly another 
matter. This is a distinction which any lover of tobacco will 
readily appreciate, for surely a fine cigar is never estimated 
by the amount of nicotine which it contains, nor is the flavor 
or quality of a delicate tea measured by its percentage of 
theine. We are beginning to learn Coca more intimately and 
even the more casual observer may soon realize that there is a 
very wide interim between Coca absolutely inert, as Dowdes- 
well long since would have had us believe : "With less vigor 
than a whiff of mountain air or a draught of spring water," 
and the extreme potency which the whole world now recog- 
nizes in the alkaloid cocaine. 

As in all other details of this research, a variety of expres- 
sion has been given as to the odor and appearance of the Coca 
leaf. Doubtless this diversity is due to whether new or old 
leaves have been examined, or whether the leaves have been 
suitably dried. Poeppig thought one of the constituents of the 
leaves was volatilized by drying, and it is known that the char- 
acteristic aroma of the leaf is lost when it is improperly kept. 
The aroma of Coca has been compared to that of about every 
other thing under the sun, and in one case is actually de- 
scribed as having an odor between hay and chocolate. 4 One 
can appreciate that it is exceedingly difficult to describe an 
odor, as the nearest approach to exactitude which may be 
made is by way of comparison. When it is realized how few 
people can accurately define the tone from a blending of col- 
ors, and when it is considered how much more subtle is the 
correct perception and interpretation of odors, the difficulty 
of accurate description may be well understood. Perfumy 
is an art in which there is a very wide range for expression, 
which is not only dependent upon the integrity of the observ- 
er's sense of perception, but influenced by the temperament of 
the describer. A freshly opened bale of properly dried and 

well preserved Coca has a peculiarly aromatic odor, faintly 
like vanilla or perhaps suggestive of a finely blended China 
tea, though more delicate. It has, however, a distinct aroma 

the Coca odor sui generis, which once learned can always be 

4 Bentley and Trimen; 1880. 


readily detected and must afford a means for immediate 
recognition of true Coca preparations as distinguished from 

SHRUB OF PERUVIAN COCA. [Conservatory of Mariani.] 

spurious combinations made with cocaine or from poor leaves. 
The Indians select the leaf from its characteristic odor alone, 
without necessitating even a tasting. This delicacy is only to 


be preserved by a proper drying and curing, to which end it is 
considered requisite that the layers of leaves in drying shall 
be so arranged that the exposure may be uniform to all parts. 

It has been advanced by some writers that the constituents 
of the Coca leaf are so very volatile that deterioration takes 
place almost as soon as the leaf has been picked. The Peru- 
vian Indians, however, consider that the leaves may be pre- 
served in their integrity, even in the warm and humid local- 
ities where they are gathered, for about a year, and in cooler 
situations for a much longer time. It has been shown by 
numerous experimenters that the leaf does not becolne wholly 
inert when properly cured and preserved with care, even after 
several years. The leaves examined by Gosse were "the ordi- 
nary leaves of commerce, which, though three or four years 
old, were still greenish and spongy, and possessed characteris- 
tic properties." Shuttleworth experimented with leaves 
which had been in his possession for "eight years and yet 
were still intact." Christison used leaves for his physiologi- 
cal experiments which he considered were "at least seven 
years old," yet because they had been well dried they were 
still green, flat and unbroken, were bitter to the taste and full 
of aroma. It may be inferred from these accounts that it is 
quite possible to preserve Coca leaves in a sound condition for 
several years if proper precautions have been taken in curing, 
packing and in their subsequent care. 

A conservative estimate as to the yield of Coca throughout 
South America under an average crop would be from thirty 
million to forty million pounds per annum, almost this entire 
quantity being consumed in the countries where it is grown. 
As a rule, the planters contract with the merchants in town 
for their whole product, but there is also a retail trade carried 
on with the country people. Every little Indian village has a 
fair to its patron saint, and at these there is an interchange of 
Coca, potatoes, maize and woolen cloths, which may again be 
sold at a considerable profit. There is possibly left for expor- 
tation from one million to one million five hundred thousand 
pounds of leaves, the value of which varies in accordance with 
the demand and facilities for transportation. 


During the period of 1885-1886, when the newness of co- 
caine created such an exorbitant price for that alkaloid, Coca 
was held at thirty-five cents a pound on shipboard at Peruvian 
ports. Two years ago the leaves were quoted at seven cents a 
pound at Sandia, while at Asalaya, below Sandia, it was seven 
pesos and a half, and at Yalle Grande, two days further in the 
montaiia, it was four pesos the cesta a peso being eighty 
Peruvian cents, at present equal to about thirty-six cents in 
United States coin. This would make the price of Coca 
about eleven cents and six cents respectively, varying with the 
district and subject to fluctuation according to the means of 
transit. The recent increase of demand for copper has so 
taxed the means for transportation that the llamas which were 
ordinarily used for carrying Coca leaves have been pressed 
into service for carrying copper ore, the result of which has 
been to advance the price of Coca on the Peruvian coast to 
twenty cents. Advices from Lima, dated January, 1900, 
stated that Coca leaves were then held there at twenty-four 
cents per pound in large lots. 

With the recognition of a volatile principle in the Coca 
leaf, the proposition was made to solder the packages up in 
tins like China tea, but this has never been found practicable ; 
in fact, it would be a serious problem to determine the ar- 
rangement for carrying such a package, as it should be re- 
called that the montaiia is hundreds of miles from the coast, 
to which Coca can only be conveyed on the backs of mules or 
llamas in the most primitive way over rugged mountains 
and through lofty passes, where travel is exceedingly dif- 

Because of the annoyances of transportation, it has been 
supposed that the conveyance of Coca by w r ater along the trib- 
utaries of the Amazon and down that great river to the sea 
might prove a more desirable means of transit, but the propo- 
sition is ideal rather than practical. In Northern Peru some 
advantage is taken of the Huallaga, but the mules compete 
with the Oroya railroad in the final stretch to Callao. Some 
years ago Dr. Squibb, through an interest that he endeavored 
to awaken in Mr. Wm. Brambeer, of Para, had a shipment of 


Coca sent down the Amazon which turned out badly. Under 
the most favorable conditions it would take from twenty-eight 
to thirty days to reach the eastern port or the Amazon from 
the Coca region, while across the Ancles the western coast may 
be reached in from ten to twelve days. 

Perhaps more interest nas been centered on the fertile re- 
gion of the Amazonian valley than is invited by the cold and 
barren passes of the rugged Cordillera. From the eastern 
montana, where the Amazon leaves the Andes under the name 
of the Marafion, it flows on over three thousand miles to the 
Atlantic from an elevation of some fifteen hundred feet, with 
a gradual fall of about six inches to the mile. As the river 
winds through the dense jungle of the tropics, it is met by 
numerous streams, all forming a water course of many mil- 
lions of miles. When the Spaniards felt that they had con- 
quered a country that was rich in gold and yet so soon had 
wasted these treasures, the more adventurous spirits, led by 
Gonzalo Pizarro, pushed on toward this mighty territory, 
passing down some of the tributary streams which have their 
source in the northern part of Peru. Although these expedi- 
tions did not result in the discovery of that fabulous city of 
El Dorado, the streets of which supposedly were paved with 
gold, these initial expeditions prompted a desire for further 
exploration into the interior in search of wealth. United to 
this was the desire of the Church to convert the savage In- 
dians, a mission work which was furthered by the labors of 
the Franciscan monks. 

Since these early times, the descent of the Amazon has 
prompted as many expeditions as has the discovery of the 
Korth Pole, while the stories of exploit, hardship and suffer- 
ing have often been related with painful exactitude. Dur- 
ing the vice-royalty of the Count of Chinchon, in the seven- 
teenth century, the passage of the Amazon was made to and 
from Para through the river JSTapo. In 1835 Count Castel- 
nau made a memorable trip through the Ucayali, and in 1852 
Lieutenants Gibbon and Ilerndon, on behalf of the United 
States Government, explored the Ucayali and Huallaga, Ma- 
more and Madeira rivers. An effort was to be made to find 




some source of navigation between the numerous streams of 
the Eastern Andes through the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean. 
The importance of this had been advocated as early as 1819 
by Vincente Pazos, a citizen of Buenos Ayres, prompted 
through the introduction at that time of steam navigation into 
the United States. 

The waters which go to form the Amazon are so filled with 
cataracts and treacherous rocks that for hundreds of miles 
they are unnavigable, while the severity of the tropical cli- 
mate and the depredations of the Indians would seemingly re- 
tard exploration. But the greatest factor to overcome has 
been the persistent unwillingness of the Government of Brazil 
to permit extended surveys. It was not until 1867 that the 
Amazon was thrown open to the world, and steamers now as- 
cend as far as Yurimaguas, on the Huallaga, close to the East- 
ern Andes, in the northern montana, while the many tribu- 
tary streams afford a source of commerce for numerous mer- 
chant vessels. 

In March, 1899, the United States gunboat Wilmington, 
under Commander Todd, sailed from Para, ascending the 
Amazon and the Solimoens 2,300 miles to Iquitos, on the 
northwestern boundary of Peru. By this expedition the 
United States had the honor of entering the first man-of-war 
in Peru from the Atlantic, though the exploit came near creat- 
ing unpleasant relations with Brazil, in consequence of the 
passage of the Amazon. Perhaps this was engendered 
through the suggestion of an article by Mr. Cecil Rhodes that 
destiny would impel the United States to acquire all of South 
America, a confirmation of which some over credulous natives 
saw in the presence of the vessel, which was presumably mak- 
ing surveys preparatory to annexing this tropical belt. Navi- 
gation through the entire extent of the Amazon is dependent 
upon the guidance of pilots, but so much feeling was created 
that pilots were refused to take the Wilmington back to Para, 
and the descent was completed under the guidance of charts 
made from surveys by the United States steamer Enterprise, 
in 1878, then commanded by Thomas O. Self ridge, now rear 
admiral, retired. 



The Amazon has its source between the Peruvian Cordil- 
leras from a number of streams which are supplied with the 
melting snow from the Andes. In its upper part it is called 
the Maranon as far as the frontier of Brazil, where it takes 
the name Solimoens as far as the river Negro. The Amazon 
has a length, following its curves, of nearly four thousand 
miles and is considered to be the largest, if not the longest, 
river in the world. Its depth varies from forty-two feet in 
the Maranon to three hundred and twelve feet at its mouth, 
where it is one hundred and eighty miles wide. Throughout 
its extent it is deep, even at the banks, which are without slop- 
ing shores. The water is muddy and still, though drifting 
logs and floating islands of grass and water plants indicate a 
current which runs about three miles an hour. The winding 
stream, in some places of a width of many miles, cuts through 
a dense forest, which ends abruptly at the 
water's edge. Here the trees shoot up to 
a great height before branching and are 
overhung with vines and creepers so as to 
present an almost solid wall, into which 
the passage seems at times directed. 

The tropical nature of the surround- 
ings is well adapted to favor animal life, 
and the water is filled with strange fishes, 
alligators, turtles, anacondas and por- 
poises, while along the river banks there 
may be perhaps a few huts at every hun- 
dred miles, which are occupied by the rub- 
ber gatherers. Some of these huts are 
built on piles only elevated a few feet 
above the water, but the dwellers seem 
acclimated against the endemic fevers. 
The climate through the Amazon valley 
has but little variation, the chief fluctua- 
tion being from profuse rains to humid 
heat. The rainy season begins in September and continues 
until April, during which the river overflows its banks, and 
in the succeeding dry period it gradually recedes again, the 

[Twcddle Collection.] 


difference between high and low water being as great as 
forty or fifty feet. 

There are some savage tribes along the northern tribu- 
taries who have unique customs. Among these is a tribe of 
head hunters who preserve the heads of their enemies as tro- 
phies of their valor. The bones of the skull are crushed and 
removed and the head is then mummified to about a fourth of 
its natural size, while still retaining the features in reduced 
proportions and the long, straight black hair as in life. These 
little heads are not repulsive, but resemble an ebony carving 
more than the remains of something once human. Through 
the upper lip is put a fringe of string, each cord of which is 
said to indicate the number of enemies the warrior had over- 

While this immense river system must prove a great bene- 
fit in opening to the commerce of the world a vast territory 
rich in spices, food stuffs, cabinet woods, rubber, dyes and 
numerous drugs, yet it cannot render any material service to 
that section of country through which Coca is grown. Though 
some species of Erythroxylon are found along the Solimoens 
and the tributaries of the Amazon, the Coca producing re- 
gions of the montana are still separated by long portages and 
hundreds of miles of canoe navigation, to say nothing of im- 
passable cataracts and the uncertainty of such precarious 

Under the most favorable conditions the journey to the 
eastern coast may not be made in less than a month, while, as 
has already been stated, the trip over the Andes can be com- 
pleted in from ten to twelve days. Yet there are those who 
are willing to accept the one hardship in place of the other 
and select the longer passage by preference to the arduous 
climbing through the great altitudes necessary in surmount- 
ing the passes of the Andes. This was recently shown by 
Senor Moises Ponce, a Peruvian gentleman of Iquitos, who, 
being desirous of going with his wife and four little boys to 
Truxillo, on the coast of Peru, preferred to go by boat to 
Para, thence by steamer to New York, and across the Isthmus 
of Panama and by steamer to Salaverry a distance of nine 



thousand miles, rather than the more direct route over the 
Andes, which is less than four hundred miles. Indeed the 
officials journeying between Lima and Iquitos are allowed 
mileage by the government for this extended trip, though 
some more venturesome spirits cross the Andes by way of 
Caxamarca and so may make the journey in twenty-eight 

Many fabulous tales have been told of the Amazonian re- 
gion. Count Castelriau repeats with much earnestness a 
story of Father Ribeiro, a Carmelite, of a tribe of Indians 
seen on the banks of the Jurua with short tails, supposedly 


resulting from their literal union with one of the tribes of 
ancestral monkey. Many of the Amazonian streams are 
navigated by immense canoes, often forty feet long, which are 
made from a single log. These are conducted by a puntero, 
or bowman, who is the lookout, and poled or paddled by 
bogas, who stand up, one foot on the gunwale and one on the 
bottom of the canoe, and paddle it along, while the popero 
stands on a platform at the stern and steers. 

The Incans were expert navigators in a peculiar form of 
boat known as the balsa, one of which it will be recalled Pi- 


zarro saw when he entered the Guayas River. These boats 
are still in use along the coast and on Lake Titicaca. They 
are constructed in a variety of ways ; some of them resemble 
huge rafts, others are shaped like canoes. In the first in- 
stance they are made of trunks of the very light balsa trees, 
lashed, together with cross-pieces. These primitive boats are 
often large enough to carry a number of passengers, who, to- 
gether with the cargo, are placed on a small platform ar- 
ranged above the deck as a protection from the water which 
constantly washes over the feet of the balsero. Some of these 
rafts are propelled under huge sails. Those on Lake Titicaca 
have sails which are made from the rushes growing near the 
lake. Other forms of the balsa are made from inflated seal 
skins, which are lashed together and connected by cross-pieces 
of wood, after the manner of a catamaran. Over this there 
is a platform of cane, at one end of which the balsero kneels 
and by alternate strokes of his paddle to either side propels 
his canoe. 

The canoe-like balsa, termed caballitos or "little horses," 
are made of conical bundles of rushes from ten to twelve feet 
long, bound together. Of course, these boats are not water 
tight, but they are unsinkable, riding easily on the huge waves 
of the Pacific, and they are so light that when borne inland by 
the swell they may be picked up and carried out of reach of 
the breakers. These boatmen form a floating, roving race, of 
whom my friend, Mr. Scott, has written designating them the 
"gypsies of the sea." They are seen everywhere along the 
coast, ready to carry the mail or venturesome passengers to 
and from the ships lying off shore. The traveller is often 
compelled to depend on this mode of conveyance on Peruvian 
waters, which, though absolutely safe, always awakens the 
gravest fears in the inexperienced voyager, who must main- 
tain an equipoise for fear of momentary capsizing, while the 
motion is apt to excite an early oblation to Neptune. 

The Indian arrow poison, urary or curare, which has been 
such a boon to experimental physiologists, is extensively pre- 
pared by the women of certain Indian tribes along the tribu- 
taries of the Amazon. It is not made from the venom of 


snakes, as is popularly supposed, though often venomous ants 
and scorpions are added to the pot in which it is concocted. 
It is commonly prepared from the juice of bruised stems and 
leaves of several varieties of Strycknos and Apocynacece, 
boiled and mixed with tobacco juice and capsicum, and thick- 
ened with the sticky milk of one of the Eupliorbiacece to a hard 
mass. The first curare known to commerce was obtained 
from the Orinoco region. 

There are now some eight or ten different varieties of this 
poison, of which that made by the Macusi Indians and the 
curare from Venezuela and Colombia, are considered the 
more powerful. It is a dark brown, pitch-like substance, 
usually kept in little earthen pots. The Indians spread it on 
the points of their arrows and on the tips of the little shafts 
of their blow tubes, termed by the natives pucuna. The re- 
sult of the diffusion of curare into the blood is to occasion a 
torpor of the limbs, while the mind remains active until death 
follows from paralysis of respiration. The Indians shoot 
birds and monkeys which they wish to tame with darts tipped 
with a very weak curare, the influence of which soon wears 

The blow guns are made of the long, straight wood of the 
chonta palm of which bows, clubs and spears are also made. 
The guns are some eight feet long, tapering from two inches 
at the mouthpiece to half an inch at the extremity, shaped of 
two pieces in which a canal has been very smoothly polished, 
when the two pieces are bound together with twine and the 
whole covered with wax and resin. A sight, fitted to the top, 
made from an animal's tooth, and a couple of boar's teeth at- 
tached to each side of the mouth end, completes the imple- 
ment. The darts, made from the central fibre of a species of 
palm leaf, are about a foot long and thin as a match; one 
end of this shaft is wrapped with a species of wild cotton, 
called liuimba, and the other end is sharply pointed. The 
marksman uses this gun in a very unique way. Instead of 
stretching out one hand as a support, the tube is held to the 
mouth by grasping it close to the mouthpiece with both hands 
in a manner that requires considerable strength and much ex- 


pertness to assure a correct aim. Yet the Indians kill small 
birds with their darts at thirty or forty paces. The outfit of 
a hunter consists of a gourd with a hole in it for carrying the 
huimba, with a joint of cane as a quiver for the darts. 

In the depths of the forest there is at times heard the 
mournful cry of a bird which is known as alma perdida the 
lost soul. There is a legend that an Indian and his wife went 
from the village to work their little Coca farm, taking with 
them their infant. The woman, going to a spring to get 
water, gave the child in charge of her husband, but finding 
the spring dry, she went to look for another. The man, 
alarmed at the long absence of his wife, left the baby to go in 
search of her. When the couple returned they could not find 
the infant, and their agonized cries only provoked the wailing 
call of this bird, which, like the bewildered voice of their lost 
child, seemed to say : "Pa-pa, ma-ma," and the bird has since 
borne that name. 5 

There are an immense number of animals in the Amazo- 
nian region, among which are the ant eater, wild boar, arma- 
dillo, tapir, the boa-constrictor and numerous poisonous ad- 
ders, to counteract the venom of which the Indians resort to 
various species of plants, among which is anguifugum, of the 
family of Erythroxylon and the huaca plant, mention of 
which has already been made. Huaca may be identical with 
the guaco described by Humboldt and Bonpland, of which sev- 
eral species are found in tropical South America belonging 
to the genera Mikana or Aristolochia. 6 The leaves are large, 
obvate, pale green above, the under side of an obscure purple 
hue with purple veins running through it, giving the leaf 
somewhat the appearance of mottled snake skin. The leaves 
grow singly, opposite on the stem, which is hard and ribbed 
and of a bluish color. The natives say no flower is ever seen. 
The Indians bruise the leaves to the consistence of a paste, 
which is made into small dried cakes and used as a remedy 
against snake poison. 

When one is bitten by a snake one of these cakes is chewed 
until the bitter taste is gone. He is then bathed and the cud 

6 Herndon; Vol. I, p. 156; 1853. 8 Journ. de Pharm.; p. 99; 1867. 



of chewed herb bound upon the wound. Stevenson was bitten 
in the hand by a coral snake, the bite of which is considered 
mortal if not immediately cured. There was a violent pain 
and burning in the wound and a sense of weight in the hand. 
He chewed huaca cake and the Indians squeezed the wound. 
In five minutes the pain abated and the bitter taste of the herb 
was gone. He then bathed in the river and was laid in his 
canoe, covered with ponchos and taken home, about four 
miles. During the time he was in the canoe he perspired pro- 
fusely and more so after retiring. While the pain in his 
hand was much allayed, he felt general numbness and great 
debility, accompanied with 
nausea. He drank a glass 
of almond milk orchada, 
slept for about an hour, 
but awoke feverish and for 
four days continued very 
ill. He felt much appre- 
hension, but the natives as- 
sured him that after twen- 
ty-four hours had elapsed 
there was no danger, 
though for more than a 
fortnight he felt the ef- 

Parrots and birds of 
beautiful plumage are very 
plentiful through the mon- 
taria and along the Ama- 
zon, while monkeys hang- 
ing by their tails continue 
an incessant chattering, as though asserting with their neigh- 
bors their representative right as descendants of man's prehis- 
toric state. Yet the Indians, though not cannibals, are not 
averse to eating monkeys, while they also enjoy the armadillo, 
the peccary, agouti and tapir. Turtles are a common luxury, 
and in an emergency the savage Indian never hesitates to feed 
upon snakes, toads, lizards and the larvae of insects. 



Near the Orinoco there is a tribe of savages who feed upon 
a species of unctuous clay, a practice which, though probably 
the outgrowth of necessity, is not extremely rare throughout 
the Amazonian region. This clay, which is said to have a 
milky and not disagreeable taste, is a species of marga, or 
marl subpinguis tenax, as it is called which is found in 
veins of varying color. It is smooth and greasy, dissolving 
readily in the mouth, and is absorbed into the circulation. 

The dietary of the Andean Indian, while chiefly of a 
starchy nature, is mixed with a fair supply of meat, princi- 
pally mutton, with an occasional llama. The bread, or fari- 
nali, is generally made from the root of the mandioc jatro- 
pha manihot from which the juice is squeezed by a cleverly 
woven conical basket-work bag tapiti, [see page 478] made 
from the coarse fibres of the palm. The bruised pulp of the 
tuber is placed in this bag and the whole suspended with a 
heavy weight attached to an eyelet woven in the lower end of 
the bag. Gradually this percolator elongates as the meshes 
are forced together, and so exerting a compression on the pulp 
the juice is squeezed out through the interstices of the wicker 
work. The starchy extractive of the juice yields tapioca, 
while the pulpy mass is dried into coarse granules and ground 
into flour from which a very palatable biscuit is made which 
tastes not unlike stale bread. This farinah is practically the 
only bread that is used by the natives through a vast region of 
tropical America. 

Salt is held in high repute by the Indians. It is said that 
there are some places on the coast of Africa where, next to 
gold, a handful of salt is the most valuable. The Peruvian 
Indians travel hundreds of miles for their salt supply, but 
they have their pepper in the form of aji near at hand, and 
'they use it in all their dishes quite as liberally as Spanish cus- 
tom has taught them. Keller says that some of the Indians 
of Bolivia in chewing Coca unite with their llipta a bit of 
some species of red pepper. 

The collection of rubber is one of the chief industries of 
the Amazonian valley. The tree from the sap of which rub- 
ber is made grows only in a region where its root may be an- 


nually submerged by floods. It is not the ordinary rubber 
plant of our conservatories, the sap of which is sometimes 
used to make a spurious rubber, but the siphonia elastica, 
which yields the cahucliu of the South American Indians that 
has proved so valuable in the arts. The rubber collectors live 
- in the little elevated huts already described as along the Ama- 
zon, which are so constructed that in the time of flood they 
may be raised. During the dry season holes are chopped in 
the bark of the tree and from these tappings the milky sap ex- 
udes and is conducted by a trough made of bamboo into clay 
cups. The rubber is prepared by coagulating the sap on a 
wooden paddle over the smoke of the urucury. As it is gradu- 
ally smoked the sap takes a greenish yellow tint, and the pad- 
dle is repeatedly dipped until by successive coagulated layers 
quite a thickness is obtained, when the plancha of rubber is 
cut on one side and removed to hang in the sun to dry, by 
which process it is gradually darkened to the condition in 
which we commonly see crude rubber. 

One may not visit the montana without hearing the vari- 
ous topics which have been mentioned here discussed, al- 
though the one of supreme interest in our research, and that 
which has excited the greatest comment of travellers, is the 
production and use of the Coca leaf, the technical details of 
which we may now consider. 



"Nor Coca only useful art at Home, 
A famous Merchandize thou art become; 
A thousand Pad and Vicugni groan 
Yearly beneath thy Loads, and for thy sake alone 
The spacious World's to us by Commerce Known." 


F all the problems in the study of 
Coca the search for the force pro- 
ducing qualities of the leaf is the 
most profound. Science, ever 
alert to trace with exactitude the 
secrets of Nature, has struggled in 
vain to isolate and explain this 
hidden source of energy. But so 
cleverly are the atoms associated 
which go to build up the molecules 

of power in this marvelous leaf, that though the chemist 
through the delicacy of analysis has from time to time placed 
these atoms in differing groups and thus often given to the 
world some new combination, the one sought element of pent 
up endurance inherent in Coca has remained concealed. It is 
like the secret of life though known to be broadly dependent 
upon certain principles which may readily be explained, the 



knowledge of the one essential element remains as great a 
secret as before research began. 

Though all the accounts of travellers had directed atten- 
tion to the peculiar qualities of Coca in sustaining strength, 
at the period when the first knowledge of this leaf reached 
Europe chemistry was not sufficiently advanced to admit of an 
exact analysis of plant life. Indeed, science met with little 
encouragement when the great powers were engrossed in po- 
litical preferment, and it was not until the latter part of the 
eighteenth century that an impetus seemed given to research 
after Lavoisier had laid the foundation for modern chemistry. 
Though he lost his life on the guillotine through the whirligig 
of political fate during the French Revolution, just as he was 
at the height of his labors, a new interest was established and 
the work of the French chemists became active. 

Humboldt was then making his extensive explorations 
through South America, collecting data which was to serve as 
a basis of research during many subsequent years. Cuvier, 
the anatomist, was advancing his theories on the classification 
of animals ; Fraunhofer had established a means for studying 
the heavenly bodies through the spectrum, while chemical 
electricity had progressed from the experiments of Volta to 
the electro magnet of Ampere. 

The method for expressing chemical equations, such as are 
now shown by those symbolic letters and figures which appear 
to the uninitiated as so many hieroglyphics, was not under- 
stood until Dalton, in 1808, had perfected his law of propor- 
tions. This was an important advance in chemical knowl- 
edge, for from it was built up the sign language which in a 
chemical formula expresses not only the symbol of each ele- 
ment, but tells the chemist the relative proportion of the com- 
bining atoms. 

These fundamental facts are of interest as bearing upon 
the chemical history of the Coca leaf, while the combining na- 
ture of atoms has suggested an interesting theory that the 
physiological action of a chemical medicine is influenced by 
its molecular weight. This has been a matter of discussion 
among physiological chemists for years, and was suggested by 



Blake as long ago as 1841 and since by Rabuteau. Thus an 
element of a fixed atomic weight may have special reference to 
the muscular system, while another of different weight may 
act upon the nervous tissue, 1 qualities which are fulfilled in 
the action of the several Coca bases. 

Boerhaave may be said to have been the father of the 
present system of organic chemistry in the early part of the 
eighteenth century. So important were his teachings held 

that his works were translated 
into most modern languages. Al- 
though his attempts at analysis of 
living things attracted a wide in- 
terest, they could be in no manner 
exact, because the fundamental 
elements entering into the com- 
position of all organic structure 
carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and 
nitrogen had not then been de- 
termined. Yet so skilled were his 
observations, even under limited 
opportunities, that many of his 
conclusions have not since been 
refuted in the light of improved 

methods. Perhaps the earliest hint upon alkaloids was that 
made by this scientist when he referred to the bitter prin- 
ciple in the juices from chewing Coca as yielding "vital 
strength" and a "veritable nutritive." 2 

It was reserved for Liebig some hundred years later to 
perfect the science of living structures, and to show there was 
not that exact separation between the chemistry of the organic 
and inorganic world that had previously been supposed. Fol- 
lowing the teachings of this master mind, many compounds 
were constructed in the laboratory synthetically, and urea was 
thus produced in 1828 by Woehler, whose name is associated 
with the early investigators upon cocaine. Research upon the 
chemistry of organic bodies was now active. In England the 
work of Davy upon soils and crops, and the investigations of 

iBrunton; p. 49; 1885. 2 Boerhaave; fl68; 1708. 



Darwin, unfolded in his theory of the origin of species, gave a 
new meaning to the study of organic life. 

It was but a natural outcome of this spirit for research 
that turned the attention of explorers to South America, 
which had remained practically a new world since its discov- 
ery. Here were to be found innumerable strange plants in- 
digenous to a country where everything was marvelous when 
viewed with the comparative light of the older world. In the 
height of this interest, the suggestive hints of naturalists and 
travellers were incentives to further the investigations of the 
European chemists. The writings of Cieza, Monardes, 
Acosta, Garcilasso and a host of others upon the wonderful 
qualities of the Coca leaf, stimulated a desire to solve its 
tradition of ages and prove its qualities by the test of science. 

It is surprising to now look back over three centuries and 
recall these early authors, to consider under what conditions 
they wrote, and to read with what enthusiasm and exactness 
they gave expression to the knowledge they had gained from 
an observation of the novel customs about them. Thus the 
Jesuit father, Bias Valera, speaking of the hidden energy of 
Coca, wrote : "It may be gathered how powerful the Cuca is 
in its effect on the laborer, from the fact that the Indians who 
use it become stronger and much more satisfied and work all 
day without eating." 3 

It was not until after Coca had been botanically described 
by Jussieu, and classified by Lamarck, that its chemical inves- 
tigation approached thoroughness. The researches of Berg- 
mann and Black upon "fixed air" as carbonic acid was then 
termed, the discovery of hydrogen by Cavendish, of nitrogen 
by Rutherford and of oxygen by Priestley, each following 
upon the other in quick succession in the latter half of the 
eighteenth century, displayed the great activity of chemistry 
at that period. Although no result was then arrived at in the 
investigations upon Coca, the spirit of the time was eminently 
toward exactitude, and this was displayed in many endeavors 
to trace to a chemical principle the potency of the Coca leaf. 

Attention was very naturally directed to the method in 

3 Garcilasso; Vol. II, p. 371; 1871. 



which Coca was used, and the llipta which was employed with 
the leaves in chewing was looked upon as having some decided 
influence. Dr. Unanue, who has written much concerning the 
customs of the Indians, was one of the first to suggest that 
possibly this alkaline addition to the leaf developed some new 
property to which the qualities of Coca might be attributed, 4 
while Humboldt, as elsewhere referred to, through an error of 
observation considered this added lime as the supposed prop- 
erty of endurance. 

Stevenson, in 1825, described the action of the llipta as 
altering the insipid taste of the leaves so as to render them 
sweet, and in 1827 Poeppig expressed the opinion that there 

was a volatile constituent in the 
Coca leaf which exposure to the 
air completely destroys. 5 

Attention had now been di- 
rected to the isolation of alka- 
loids from plants, and during 
the first quarter of the nine- 
teenth century several active 
principles were thus obtained 
and the possibility of tracing 
the hidden properties of Coca 
through analysis was suggested. 
Von Tschudi, when engaged 
in his extended explorations 
through Peru, became so im- 
pressed with the qualities of 
Coca that he advised Mr. Pizzi, 
Director of the Laboratory 
Botica y Drogueria Boliviano,, 
at La Paz, to examine the 
leaves, which resulted in the dis- 
covery of a supposed alkaloid, 

but when on his return to Germany this body was shown to 
Woehler, it was found to be merely plaster of paris, the result 
of some careless manipulation. 

* Unanue; 1794. 5 Gosse; p. 52; 1861. 

WITH His POPORO. [Brettes.] 


Dr. Weddell, in 1850, after a prolonged personal experi- 
ence in the Andes with the sustaining effects of Coca, pro- 
nounced it as yielding a stimulant action differing from that 
of all other excitants. This influence both he and other ob- 
servers supposed might be due to the presence of theine, the 
active principle of tea, which had shortly before been dis- 
covered, and was then exciting considerable discussion. With 
this idea in view, Coca leaves were examined, and, though 
this substance was not found, there was obtained a peculiar 
body, soluble in alcohol, insoluble in ether, very bitter, and 
incapable of crystallization, and a tannin was obtained to 
which was attributed the virtues of Coca. 6 

About this same period there was found in the leaves a 
peculiar volatile resinous matter of powerful odor, 7 and two 
years later, from a distillation of the dry residue of an 
aqueous extract of Coca, an oily liquor of a smoky odor was 
separated together with a sublimate of small needle-like crys- 
tals, which was named "Erythroxyline," 8 after the family of 
which Coca is a species. 9 So each new investigator made a 
little progress, and in 1857 positive results were very nearly 
reached through the following process: An extract of Coca 
was made with acidulated alcohol, the alcohol was expelled, 
and the solution rendered alkaline by carbonate of soda. 
Upon extracting this with ether, an oily body of alkaline re- 
action was obtained without bitter taste, which on application 
to the tongue produced a slight numbness. The reaction of 
platinum chloride yielded with the acid solution a yellowish 
precipitate, soluble in water. From a distillate of the leaves 
with alkali there was remarked a disagreeable, strongly am- 
moniacal odor. 10 Subsequently a peculiar bitter principle, 
extractive and chlorophyl, a substance presumed to be analo- 
gous to theine, and a salt of lime was found. 11 

These negative findings led some to assert that Coca 
was inert and its properties legendary, but more careful ob- 
servation has shown the true difficulty was an inability to 

Wackenroder; July, 1853. 7 Johnston; 1853. * Gaedcke; 1855. 

8 It is claimed that Dr. S. R. Percy read a paper before the New York Acad- 
emy of Medicine in November, 1857, upon an alkaloid of Coca which he had ob- 
tained and then independently named "Erythroxyline." 

10 Maclagan; 1857. "Stanislas Martin; 1859. 



secure appropriately preserved leaves for examination. This 
was made evident through an essay upon Coca by an eminent 
Italian neurologist, from experiences while a resident of 
Peru, when a host of physiological evidence emphasized the 
powerful nature of Coca, wholly apart from any mere de- 
lusions of fancy or superstition. 12 The weight of facts pre- 
sented proved sufficiently forcible not only to stimulate the 
waning spirit for scientific inquiry, but to awaken a wide- 
spread popular regard in what was now generally accepted as 
a plant of phenomenal nature. 

In the height of this interest Dr. Scherzer, who accom- 
panied the Austrian frigate 
Xovara on the expedition to 
South America, opportunely 
brought home specimens of 
Coca leaves from Peru. These 
were sent to Professor Woeh- 
ler of Gottingen for analysis, 
who entrusted their examina- 
tion to his assistant, Dr. Al- 
bert Xiemann, who is re- 
garded as the discoverer of 
the alkaloid cocaine. Thus 
this chemist entered upon the 
investigation of Coca not in 
any mere accidental way, but 
with an understanding of the 
seriousness of his research and its probable importance. 

Niemann exhausted coarsely ground Coca leaves with 
eighty-five per cent, alcohol containing one-fiftieth of sul- 
phuric acid ; the percolate was treated with milk of lime and 
neutralized by sulphuric acid. The alcohol was then re- 
covered by distillation, leaving a syrupy mass, from which 
resin was separated by water. The liquid then treated by 
carbonate of soda to precipitate alkaloid emitted an odor re- 
minding of nicotine, and deposited a substance which was 
extracted by repeatedly shaking with ether, in which it was 

12 Mantegazza; 1859. 


[From a Copper-plate Print at the 

Biblioth&que Rationale, Paris.'] 


dissolved, and from which the ether was recovered by dis- 
tillation. There was found an alkaloid present in proportion 
of about one-quarter of one per cent., which was named "Co- 
caine," after the parent plant, and the chemical formula 
C 32 H2oN08, according to the old notation, was given it. 
Mechanically mixed with its crystals there was a yellowish 
brown matter of disagreeable narcotic odor, which could not 
be removed with animal charcoal or recrystallization, and 
was only separated by repeated washings with alcohol. 

Pure cocaine, as described by this investigator, is in color- 
less transparent prisms, inodorous, soluble in seven hundred 
and four parts of water at 12 C. (53.6 F.), more readily 
soluble in alcohol, and freely so in ether. Its solutions have 
an alkaline reaction, a bitter taste, promote the flow of saliva 
and leave a peculiar numbness, followed by a sense of cold 
when applied to the tongue. At 98 C. (208.4 F.) the crys- 
tals fuse and congeal again into a transparent mass, from 
which crystals gradually form. Heated above the fusing 
point, the body is discolored and decomposes, running up the 
sides of the vessel. When fused upon platinum the crystals 
burn with a bright flame, leaving a charcoal which burns with 
difficulty. The alkaloid is readily soluble in all dilute acids 
forming salts of a more bitter taste than the uncombined 
cocaine. It absorbs hydrochloric acid gas, fuses and congeals 
to a grayish white transparent mass which crystallizes after 
some days. The crystals from its solution are long, tender 
and radiating. 

Besides cocaine, there was found in the alcoholic tincture 
precipitated by milk of lime a snowy white granular mass. 
This fused at 70 C. (158 F.), was slowly soluble in hot 
alcohol, more readily so in ether, and was not acted on by 
solutions of acids or alkalies. This substance was named 
Coca wax and given the empirical formula C 68 II 60 O 4 . 

Upon distilling one hundred grammes of leaves, a slightly 
turbid distillate was obtained, which when redistilled with 
chloride of sodium, yielded white globular masses lighter than 
water and having the peculiar tea-like odor of Coca. 

In the dark red filtrate from which the cocaine had been 


precipitated by carbonate of soda there was found after suit- 
able treatment a Coca tannic acid, to which the formula 
Ci 4 Hi 8 O 8 has been given. 13 This latter result, it will be re- 
membered, was as far as Wackenroder's investigations had 
gone in 1853. 

The atomic weight of the amorphous compound de- 
termined from the double salt with chloride of gold, was 
found to equal 283, and when crystallized from hot water 
280, or from alcohol 288. On heating this double salt ben- 
zoic acid was sublimed from it, which was recorded as the first 
observation of this nature from any known alkaloid. 14 

Following this research, the late Professor John M. 
Maisch of Philadelphia verified the several results. The 
small percentage of nitrogen announced in the original for- 
mula suggested that possibly cocaine was a decomposition 
compound, while the nicotine odor was thought to result from 
a nitrogenous body or another alkaloid. To determine this, 
the liquor and precipitate which had been obtained by car- 
bonate of soda were distilled over a sand bath. A syrupy 
liquid was left, from which the alkaloid was separated by 
ether, while from the distillate was collected a resin-like mass 
of an acrid taste, having a narcotic odor, soon lost on exposure 
to a damp atmosphere, while the mass became acid and was 
now rendered easily soluble in water and alcohol. Whether 
or not this principle was nitrogenous this investigator left 
undecided. 15 

Continuing the same line of research as that of Niemann, 
and following the suggestions of Maisch, William Lessen 18 
of Gottingen carried out an extended inquiry as to the nature 
of cocaine, and established its formula Ci 7 H 2 iNO 4 , in ac- 
cordance with the new notation. In examining its composi- 
tion he found by heating it with hydrochloric acid that it was 
split up into benzoic acid and another body, thereby confirm- 
ing the observation which had been made concerning this 
sublimation from the double salt of chloride of gold and 
cocaine. This new base he named "ecgonine" from e 
son or descendant. 

"Watts; 1889. 14 Niemann; 1860. "Maisch; 1861. 
19 Lessen ; Juin, 1862. 


The breaking down of cocaine was subsequently shown 
due to hydration, by saponifying it with baryta, and also with 
water alone. The first change being into benzoyl-ecgonine, 
followed by a sublimation of benzoic acid, while from the 
syrupy residue the ecgonine may be separated by repeated 
washings with alcohol and precipitation with ether. The 
crystals being only dried with great difficulty. 

Ecgonine, C 9 H 15 NX)3, crystallizes over sulphuric acid in 
sheaves. It has a slight bitter-sweet taste, is readily soluble 
in water, less so in absolute alcohol, and insoluble in ether. 
Heated to 198, it melts, decomposes and becomes brown. It 
forms salts with the acids, most of which crystallize with diffi- 
culty. With alkalies, it forms crystallizable combinations 
soluble in water and alcohol. In aqueous solutions the hydro- 
chloride yields no precipitate with alkalies. Chloride of 
platinum in presence of much alcohol gives an orange yellow 
precipitate, chloride of mercury throwing down a yellow pre- 
cipitate under the same conditions. 

The unstable nature of cocaine in the presence of acids has 
suggested their avoidance in its preparation, plain water 
being considered preferable. In this process Coca leaves are 
digested several times at 140 to 176, the infusions united, 
precipitated by acetate of lead, and filtered. The lead is re- 
moved by the addition of sulphate of soda, and the liquor con- 
centrated in a water bath. Carbonate of soda is then added, 
and the whole shaken with ether to dissolve the alkaloid, 
when the ether may be recovered by distillation. 

In his researches Lessen 17 also described the liquid alka- 
loid that had been hinted at by Gaedcke in 1855, and subse- 
quently noticed by Niemann and Maisch, which, at the sug- 
gestion of Woehler, 18 who was associated in this investigation, 
was termed "hygrine" from vypos liquid, to which the for- 
mula Ci 2 H 13 N was given. This was obtained by saturating 
the slightly alkaline mother liquor from which cocaine had 
been extracted with carbonate of soda and repeatedly washing 
with ether. Evaporation of the ethereal extract left a thick 
yellow oil of high boiling point with a strong alkaline reac- 

" Lessen; CXXXII, 351; 1865. 18 Woehler und Lessen; CXXI, 372; 1860. 


tion. Hygrine thus found is described as very volatile, dis- 
tilling alone between 140 and 230 F. It is slightly soluble 
in water, and more readily so in alcohol, chloroform and 
ether, not in caustic soda, but readily in dilute hydrochloric 
acid. Its taste is burning and it has a peculiar odor similar 
to trimethylamine or quinoline. The oxalate and muriate 
are crystallizable, but very deliquescent. 

With chloride of platinum, hygrine gives a flocculent 
amorphous precipitate which decomposes on heating. Bi- 
chloride of mercury gives an opalescence, due to the forma- 
tion of minute oily drops. 

Thus far there had been found in Coca leaves a crystalliz- 
able compound of unstable composition cocaine; a second 
base which was only to be crystallized with difficulty ecgo- 
nine; an intermediate compound benzoyl-ecgonine;'and an 
oily volatile liquid of peculiar odor hygrine ; together with 
Coca-tannic acid, and a wax-like body. Meantime, consider- 
able was done in a physiological w r ay in experimenting with 
the new alkaloids, though little decided progress was made 
during the following twenty years, until 1884, when the use 
of cocaine in local anaesthesia was announced. The import- 
ance of this application occasioned an increased activity of 
investigation regarding the Coca products. This interest 
tended to make our knowledge of the alkaloids more exact, as 
well as to enrich our understanding of those inherent sus- 
taining properties of Coca which have for past ages excited 

In the early days of the cocaine industry some manufac- 
turers asserted that the several associate substances found in 
Coca leaves were decomposition products, developed by 
changes taking place in deteriorating leaves or arising during 
the process of obtaining the one alkaloid. The great demand 
for cocaine and the high price it commanded generated an 
apparent unwillingness on the part of manufacturers to admit 
the possible presence in Coca of any other principle than 
cocaine. Processes innumerable were devised to force the 
greatest yield of alkaloid from the leaves, and some of the 
earlier specimens of the salt placed upon the market were 




more or less an uncertain mixture, dirty white in color and 
having a nicotine-like odor. This was defended as a peculiar- 
ity of the substance, the therapeutic action of which was as- 
serted to be identical with cocaine, even though the appear- 
ance was not so elegant as the purer crystals. An endeavor to 
purify the salt by studying its sources of decomposition re- 
sulted in the separation of several important alkaloids. 

The intermediate base benzoyl-ecgonine, CioII li ,XO 4 , was 
described as a by-product of the manufacture of cocaine, 19 
and it has been shown may be also obtained by the evaporation 
of cocaine solutions. 20 It has been prepared by heating 
cocaine with from ten to twenty parts of water in a sealed 
tube at 90 to 95 C., with occasional shaking until a clear 
solution is obtained. This is extracted with ether to remove 
all traces of undecomposed cocaine, and then concentrated on 
a water bath and crystallized over sulphuric acid. The crys- 
tals form as opaque prisms or needles, sparingly soluble in 
cold water, more readily so in hot water, acids, alkalies and 
alcohol, while insoluble in ether. It melts at 90 to 92 C., 
then solidifies, and again melts at about 192 C. The taste is 
bitter, its solutions are slightly acid, becoming neutral after 
recrystallization. The hydrochloride, at first of a syrupy 
consistency, forms tabular crystals which are freely soluble 
in absolute alcohol. Mayer's reagent produces a white, curdy 
precipitate ; iodine in potassium iodide, a kermes brown pre- 
cipitate ; chloride of gold, a bright yellow precipitate, soluble 
in warm water and alcohol. 

It will be recalled that Maclagan, Niemann and Maisch 
had each alluded to an uncrystallizable residue in their pro- 
cesses of extraction, and an effort was made to definitely de- 
termine its true quality. But just as cocaine was at first re- 
garded as the only alkaloid, so this amorphous substance was 
studied as a whole instead of being regarded as a mixture of 
bases. Coca leaves, it was asserted, contained a crystallizable 
cocaine and an uncrystallizable cocaine. The latter product 
has been named cocaicine 21 cocainoidine 22 and cocamine 23 
and is still the subject of investigation. 

19 W. Merck; 1885. : Paul; Oct. 17, 1885; March 27, 1886. 21 Bender; 1886. 
22 Lyons. - 3 Hesse. 


The relative amount of this non-crystallizable body left in 
the mother liquor after the precipitation of cocaine varies 
greatly and is wholly dependent upon the kind of leaves used, 
or the processes to which they are subjected. The color of 
various specimens varies from dark yellow to dark brown, 
while the consistence is from that of a syrupy liquid to a 
sticky, tenacious solid, which, after spontaneous evaporation, 
may form short, fine crystals. The odor, while recalling nico- 
tine, is more aromatic and less pungent ; the taste bitter and 
aromatic. This body is of alkaline reaction, soluble in alco- 
hol, ether, benzole, chloroform, petroleum ether, acetic acid, 
etc., and of varying solubility in water, according to its con- 
sistence. On gently heating it becomes quite fluid. It is 
very soluble in dilute acids, with which it forms non-crystal- 
line salts, all of which dissolve readily in water. Dissolved 
in rectified spirit and treated with animal charcoal or acetate 
of lead, to precipitate the coloring matter, a pale yellow, 
sticky, non-crystalline body is obtained, which will not form 
crystals, even after standing for months. Solutions of the 
substance in alcohol, repeatedly precipitated by ammonia, 
yield a nearly white non-crystalline flocculent body, which is 
very hygroscopic, the original odor and taste remaining, no 
matter how often the purifying process is repeated. 24 Evap- 
orated at gentle heat, the solutions darken, and if evaporated 
to dryness the substance becomes insoluble in water. The 
precipitation with permanganate of potash is brownish, 
which, on heating, yields an odor of bitter almonds ; 5 c.c. of 
a solution 1-1000 reduces 20 to 40 drops of a permanganate 
solution of the same strength. 

Professor Stockman, of Edinburgh, made an interesting 
study of these mixed bases, which he originally supposed to be 
a solution of ordinary crystalline cocaine in hygrine, basing 
his conclusions on the physiological action and chemical rela- 
tions. As he stated, cocaine is extremely soluble in hygrine, 
and once solution has occurred it is practically impossible 
to separate the two bodies, as they are both soluble in the same 
menstrua and are both precipitated by the same reagents. 

24 Stockman; 1887. 


This is also the case with the salts of these bodies, though not 
to the same extent, the presence of hygrine rendering any such 
samples of the salt hygroscopic, as well as imparting the 
peculiar nicotine-like odor of hygrine. Subsequent investi- 
gation, however, has convinced this physiologist that the sub- 
stance he experimented with was cocamine dissolved in hy- 
grine, together with some benzoyl-ecgonine. 25 

Thus it will be seen that the earlier conclusions regarding 
the Coca products were erroneous from imperfect knowledge. 
With the increasing usefulness of cocaine this confusion is a 
serious matter, because these mis-statements of the chemists 
and physiologists are often still quoted as authoritative. So 
positive were some of these earlier opinions that even after 
physiological proof showed the unmistakable presence of as- 
sociate alkaloids with cocaine they were asserted, from inter- 
ested motives, to be poisonous contaminations. In the face of 
this the result of physiological experimentation with the vari- 
ous Coca bases indicate that they are all more mild than 
cocaine, from which they differ markedly in physiological 
action. Dr. Bignon, Professor of Chemistry at the Univers- 
ity of Lima, Peru, who from position and opportunities may 
be regarded as a competent authority upon Coca, long since 
asserted, when grouping the alkaloids of Coca in two classes, 
that the crystalline body is inodorous, while the non-crystal- 
line has a peculiar odor and is weaker in action and less poi- 
sonous than the crystallizable cocaine. 

The wholly different action of cocaine therapeutically 
from the Coca leaves of the Andean, or the more exact scien- 
tific preservations of Coca such as exhibited in the prepara- 
tions of M. Mariani which fully represents the action of 
recent Peruvian Coca, clearly indicates the presence of certain 
important principles in Coca, the properties of which are suffi- 
ciently distinct to markedly effect physiological action in a 
manner different from any one of its alkaloids. Happily we 
are now learning more definitely through research and ex- 
perimentation, and these earlier errors are being corrected. 

The diametrically opposite findings of investigators of 

85 Stockman ; person, com. ; 1899. 


known repute indicate that these inharmonious conclusions 
were not wholly the result of carelessness nor prejudice. Just 
as Coca experimented with by one observer repeated the tra- 
ditional influence, or in some other instance proved inert, so 
the chemists found the result of their labors at variance. 
Much of this confusion was cleared away when the botanists 
explained that there are several varieties of Coca. Those 
qualities which had formerly been attributed to superstitious 
belief, or which when reluctantly accepted as possibly present 
in an extremely fugitive form which was lost through vola- 
tility, were shown to be dependent upon the variety as much 
as upon the quality of the Coca leaf employed in the process 
of manufacture. 

Cocamine, Ci 9 II 23 NO 4 , was originally studied in the alka- 
loids obtained from the small leaf variety of Coca by Hesse. 26 
It was regarded by Liebermann as identical with a base which 
he described as y -isatropyl-cocaine, and afterward termed a 
truxilline, because supposedly found only in the Truxillo 
variety of Coca. 27 

The research leading to these conclusions provoked bitter 
controversy between these two investigators. It has since 
been determined that cocamine is of the same empirical com- 
position as cocaine, though weaker in anaesthetic action. It 
is a natural product of several varieties of Coca, particularly 
of that grown in Java. 28 From hydrolysis by mineral acids 
cocamine yields cocaic, iso-cocaic and homo-iso-cocaic acids, 
while from its isomeride tfiere is formed in a similar way 
a-isoiropic or fi-truxillic acid. Both cocaic and iso-cocaic 
acids yield cinnamic acid and other products on distillation. 
Subsequently a similar body was prepared synthetically from 
ecgonine and cinnamic anhydride, and named cinnamyl-co- 
caine. 29 It forms large colorless crystals, melts at 120, is 
almost insoluble in water, and readily soluble in alcohol and 
ether. This body has been proved to occur naturally in Coca 
leaves from various sources, 30 being present in some speci- 
mens as high as 0.5 per cent. 

Thus it will be seen there has been much discussion and 

Hesse; 1887. Liebermann; XXI; 1888. Hesse ; Aug. 8, 1891. 
2 Giesel; 1889. 30 Paul and Cownley; XX, 166; 1889. 


uncertainty upon the Coca products, particularly so as to those 
of an oily nature, originally designated as hygrine and the 
amorphous substances previously described under various 

It is the opinion of Hesse that hygrine is a product of de- 
composition of one of the Coca bases, and does not occur in 
fresh Coca leaves ; in support of which he asserted that while 
dilute acid solutions of hygrine have a strongly marked blue 
florescence which is characteristic, this reaction is not shown 
when fresh leaves are first operated upon. But as this reac- 
tion develops gradually, he inferred that hygrine was formed 
by the decomposition of amorphous cocaine, from the solution 
of which it could be separated by ammonia and caustic soda 
as a colorless oil having the odor of quinoline. In fact, he 
considered the oil thus obtained a homologue of quinoline, 
possibly a tri-methyl-quinoline. 

Another observer, 31 while experimenting with the alka- 
loids of Coca by means of their platinum salts, obtained an 
oily base, exceedingly bitter and differing in odor and solubil- 
ity from that which had been described by Lossen, but which 
was presumably identical with the amorphous products, cocai- 
cine and cocainiodine, and Hesse concluded there might really 
be two oily bases in amorphous cocaine, one found in the ben- 
zoyl compounds of the broad leaf variety and one in the cin- 
namyl compounds of the Novo Granatense variety, in both 
cases associated with cocamine and another base, which he 
named cocrylamine. 32 Liebermann, on the other hand, con- 
siders hygrine a combination of two liquid oxygenated bases 
which may be separated by fractional distillation. One 
C 8 H 15 NO, an isomeride of tropine, with a boiling point 193 
to 195, the other, C^HaJ^O, 33 not distilling under ordinary 
pressure without decomposition, while still other experiment- 
ers from distilling barium ecgonate obtained a volatile oily 
liquid which strongly resembles hygrine. 34 Merck has shown 
this body yields, on decomposition, methylamine, from which 
it has been inferred that it is identical with tropine, and 
hence closely allied to atropine. With this fact in view it 

81 Howard; July 23, 1887. S2 Hpsse; November, 1887. 

33 Liebermann; XXII; 1, 675; 1889. 34 Calmels and Gossin; 1885. 


was presumed the dilating property of cocaine upon the pupil 
was due to hygrine, but this has been proved not to be the 
case. 35 

The assertion that hygrine is never present in Coca leaves, 
but is merely a decomposition product in the manufacture of 
cocaine, lends an added interest to the research of Dr. Rusby 
upon fresh Coca leaves made while he was at Bolivia. From 
repeated examinations he found a certain yield of alka- 
loids, while specimens of the same leaves sent to the United 
States yielded from treatment by the same process less than 
half the percentage of alkaloid that he had obtained. This 
prompted him to search for the possible source of error, and it 
was found that after all the cocaine was eliminated there was 
still a decided alkaloidal precipitate. From this it was con- 
cluded that: "native Coca leaves contain a body intimately 
associated with the cocaine and reacting to the same test, 
which almost wholly disappears from them in transit." 3 

This result indicates the presence in Coca leaves of some 
extremely volatile principle to which decided physiological 
properties are attached, which may also be obtained from 
suitably preserved leaves. When a preparation made from 
recent leaves in Bolivia was submitted to Professor Remsen, 
of Johns Hopkins University, his assistant reported that he 
found a bitter principle, and an oil, which presumably dif- 
fered in no way from that found at the time of the examina- 
tions made in Bolivia. This is comparable with similar find- 
ings of those who have experimented with Coca, whether the 
leaves were recent and examined on the spot, or the examina- 
tion had been made thousands of miles distant upon well pre- 
served leaves. In each instance similar volatile alkaloids 
have been obtained, which have commonly been pronounced 
"decomposition products," yet, as these are always found by 
careful observers, it indicates they are the natural associate 
bases of Coca. 

The conclusions are that crude cocaine is not merely a sin- 
gle alkaloid. As the yield of crystallizable cocaine from the 
crude alkaloid varies from fifty to seventy-five per cent., the 

ss Stockman; 1888. *> Rusby; 1888. 





associate alkaloids, together with the impurities and contami- 
nations of manufacture, must constitute the remaining 
twenty-five or fifty per cent, of the substance. Though our 
knowledge of these alkaloids is not yet exact, each of them has 
been found to possess certain chemical characteristics and 
sufficient physiological influence to prove a factor in the action 
of Coca. While these several Coca bases have been experi- 
mented with physiologically to a limited extent, they have 
never been individually applied to therapeutic uses. They 
have been regarded by the manufacturers of cocaine as simply 
so much waste from their yield of cocaine, and the attention 
of chemists has been directed to converting them by some 
synthetic process to what has been regarded as the pure alka- 

In the chemical constitution of cocaine there is a methyl, 
CH 3 , and a benzoyl, C 6 H 5 CO 2 , radical, either of which can 
be replaced by other acid radicals and so give rise to various 
homologues or compounds of similar proportions. The 
methyl radical has been shown to be essential to the anes- 
thetic action, and its presence or absence in the chemical 
group constitutes a poisonous or non-poisonous Coca product. 37 
By heating the Coca bases with alkyl iodides the corre- 
* spending esters are obtained. Thus methyl-benzoyl-ecgonine 
cocaine ; ethyl-benzoyl-ecgonine homococaine ; methyl-cin- 
namyl-ecgonine cinnamyl-cocaine, etc., are formed. Acting 
upon this data, Merck, by heating benzoyl-ecgonine with a 
slight excess of methyl-iodide and a small quantity of methy- 
lic alcohol to 100 C., evaporating the excess of methyl-iodide 
and methylic alcohol, obtained a syrupy liquid containing 
cocaine hydriodate, from which an artificial cocaine was pro- 
duced. In a similar way Skraup, 38 by heating benzoyl-ecgo- 
nine, sodium-methylate and methyl-iodide in a sealed tube, 
made a synthetic cocaine, although the yield was only about 
four per cent., while that of Merck 39 was nearly eighty per 
cent, of the theoretical quantity. 

In following this process, but using ethyl iodide, 39 Merck 
obtained a new base, or homologue, cocethyline , or homoco- 

37 Crum-Brown and Fraser. 3 > Skraup; 18?5. *' W. Merck; XVIII; 1885. 


caine, with the formula Ci 8 H 23 lSrO4, which crystallizes from 
ether in colorless, radiating prisms, and from alcohol in glossy 
prisms, which melt at 108-109 C. The alkaloid is spar- 
ingly soluble in alkalies ; chloride of gold gives a voluminous 
yellow precipitate, and chloride of mercury a white, pulveru- 
lent one, soluble in hot water. Falck has ascertained that 
cocethyline has an anaesthetic action similar to cocaine, 
though weaker. 

In following a similar method, but employing propyl 
iodide and propyl alcohol, and again by the use of iso-butyl- 
iodide w r ith its corresponding alcohol, coc-propyline and coc- 
iso-butyline have been respectively formed, both of which 
have a strong anaesthetic action, and, though chemically dif- 
ferent, exhibit the same reactions as cocaine. 

Ecgonine has been converted into a new base 40 by heating 
it for twenty-four hours with aqueous potash. This differs 
from ecgonine by being less soluble in absolute alcohol, in 
having a higher melting point, and in being dextro-rotary, 
and hence termed dextro-ecgonine. From this there has been 
prepared synthetically a dextro-cocaine, a colorless oil which 
solidifies and forms crystals on standing which are readily 
soluble in ether, alcohol, benzine and petroleum spirit. This 
body resembles cocaine, but its action is more fugitive. 

From the ready conversion of the various Coca bases ex- 
perimentally it was but a step to the building up of the asso^ 
ciate bases into a synthetic salt of cocaine. This has given 
rise to a profitable industry, the process for which has been 
patented in Germany. 41 In this process the mixed bases 
are converted by hydrolysis to ecgonine, then to a solu- 
tion of hydrochloride of that salt in methyl alcohol. 42 The 
hydrochloride of ecgonine methyl-ester is formed, and from 
this the salt is crystallized and heated over a water bath with 
benzoyl chloride, the homogenous mass being washed and 
separated from benzoic acid, and the cocaine precipitated with 
ammonia and crystallized from alcohol. 

The proportion of alkaloids contained in Coca leaves is in- 
fluenced by the method of the growth of the plant, and the 

Einhorn and Marquardt; XXIII; 1890. 41 Liebermann; XXI: 1889. 
42 Einhorn; XXI, 3335; 1888. 


yield is dependent upon the manner of curing the leaves and 
their preservation. The percentage ranges from a mere trace 
to about one per cent. Bignon considers that well preserved 
leaves will yield fully as much as recent leaves, varying from 
nine to eleven grammes of the mixed alkaloids per kilogram, 
the latter being more than one per cent. Niemann obtained 
from his original process 0.25 per cent, of cocaine, while the 
present yield is more than double that. From a number of 
assays made during the last few years in the laboratory of an 
American manufacturer 43 the following percentages of alka- 
loid were obtained: 0.53, 0.51, 0.63, 0.63, 0.57, 0.60, 0.66, 
0.55, 0.70, 0.70, 0.65, 0.67, 0.54, 0.70, 0.32, 0.42, 0.52, 0.85, 
0.48, 1.3, 0.78, 0.70, 0.40, 0.63. This will serve as an index 
of the quantity of total alkaloid commonly found in the aver- 
age leaf of good quality as it reaches North America. 

In determining the amount of alkaloids present in a given 
specimen of Coca, it is essential that the selected leaves be 
finely powdered, and mixed with a suitable menstruum that 
will not cause undue annoyance from gummy and resinous 
matters while setting free the essential constituents. These 
are washed out of the solution by an appropriate solvent, 
dried and weighed, or estimated by using some reagent the 
equivalent values of which have been determined by experi- 
ment. Various alkalies, as lime, soda or magnesia, have been 
suggested for admixture with the leaves for the purpose of 
liberating the alkaloids, which are transformed to soluble 
salts by acidulated water and washed out with strong alco- 
hol. The details of the production of the Coca alkaloids 
commercially are kept as a trade secret, but the broad methods 
of manufacture are all similar, as several will illustrate. 

Dr. Squibb has suggested the following process for the 
preparation of cocaine on a small scale : 

One hundred grammes of finely ground leaves are moist- 
ened with 100 c. c. of 7 per cent, solution of sodium carbonate, 
packed in a percolator, and sufficient kerosene added to make 
700 c.c. of percolate. This is transferred to a separator, and 
30 c.c. of 2 per cent, solution of hydrochloric acid added and 

Parke, Davis & Co. ; person, com. ; 1898. 


shaken. After separation the watery solution is drawn off 
from below into a smaller separator, and this process is re- 
peated three times, the alkaloid being in the smaller separator 
as an acid hydrochlorate. This is precipitated in ether with 
sodium carbonate, and evaporated at low heat with constant 
stirring and the product weighed. 

Another process is to digest Coca leaves in a closed vessel 
at 70 C. for two hours with a very weak solution of caustic 
soda, and petroleum boiling between 200" to 250. The mass is 
filtered, pressed while tepid, and the filtrate allowed to stand 
until the petroleum separates from the aqueous liquid. The 
former is then drawn off and neutralized with weak hydro- 
chloric acid. The bulky precipitate of cocaine hydrochloride 
being recovered from the aqueous liquid by evaporation. 44 

Gunn made a series of tests to determine what relation the 
methods of extraction had to the alkaloidal yield, and con- 
cluded that the modified method of Lyons obtained the most 
alkaloids. 45 This is substantially as follows: 

Shake 1.0 grammes of finely powdered leaves with 95 c.c. 
of petroleum benzin and add 5 c.c. of the following mixture : 
Absolute alcohol, 19 volumes ; concentrated solution ammonia, 
1 volume. Again shake for a few minutes, and set aside for 
twenty-four hours with occasional shaking. Decant rapidly 
50 c.c. of the clear fluid, or, if it is not clear, filter it, washing 
the filter with benzin. Transfer to a separator containing 
5 c.c. of water, to which has been added 6 to 8 drops of dilute 
sulphuric acid (1 to 5 by weight). Shake vigorously; when 
the fluids have separated draw the aqueous portion into a one 
ounce vial. Wash the contents of the separator with 2 c.c. 
of acidulated water (1 drop of the dilute acid). Shake, draw 
off into the vial, and continue this two or three times, until a 
drop tested on a mirror with Mayer's reagent shows only faint 
turbidity. Add to the aqueous fluid 15 c.c. of benzin, shake, 
and when separation is complete, pour off the benzin. Add 
to the vial 15 c.c. of stronger ether, IT. S. P., with sufficient 
ammonia to render the mixture decidedly alkaline. Shake, 
and when separation is complete, decant the ether carefully 

* Pfeiffer; XI. Gunn; 1896. 


into a tared capsule. Wash the residue in the vial with two or 
three successive portions of fresh ether until the aqueous fluid 
is free from alkaloid, as shown by the test. Evaporate the 
ether over a water bath. Dry the alkaloid to constant weight, 
weigh, multiply the result expressed in decigrammes by two, 
which will present the percentage of crude cocaine. 46 

Instead of extracting the alkaloid from the acid aqueous 
solution a simple method adapted to use in the field may be 
followed, in which the alkaloid is estimated by titration with 
Mayer's reagent. An acid solution representing 5 grammes 
of the leaves should be made up to a volume of 15 c.c., and the 
reagent added as long as it continues to precipitate in the clear 
filtrate. In this way, with half strength solution, 3.5 c.c. re- 
agent represents 0.2 per cent, of alkaloid. 

Mayer's reagent, or the decinormal mercuric potassium 
iodide of the U. S. P., is prepared as follows: Mercuric chlo- 
ride, 13.546 grammes, dissolved in 600 c.c. of water; potas- 
sium iodide, 49.8 grammes, dissolved in 190 c.c. of water; 
mix the two solutions and add sufficient water to make the 
whole measure, at 59 F., exactly 1000 c.c. 

When Mayer's reagent is added drop by drop to an acid 
solution containing cocaine (1:200 to 1:600) there is at first 
produced a heavy white precipitate, which collects at once 
into curdy masses ; a drop of solution should be examined on 
a mirror, and should not show more than slight turbidity 
when determining the final traces. Dr. Lyons suggests 
that after adding a certain quantity of the reagent it will 
be found that the filtered fluid which still gives a heavy 
precipitate with Mayer's reagent produces a precipitate also 
in a fresh solution of cocaine. It is thus evident that 
the precipitation is complete only when an excess of re- 
agent is present in the fluid ; and it is found advisable to 
correct the reading from the burette by substracting for 
each c.c. of fluid present at the end of the titration 0.085 
c.c. (if the half strength reagent is used) ; the remainder mul- 
tiplied by ten will give the quantity of alkaloid indicated in 
milligrammes. The best method of following the process is 

Lyons; Manual, p. 74; 1886. 



to throw the fluid on a filter after each addition of reagent. 
Solutions of the alkaloid 1 :400 appear to yield better results 
than solutions stronger or weaker than this. 

One c.c. of Mayer's reagent will precipitate about 7.5 mil- 
ligrammes of the mixed alkaloids from solutions in which al- 
cohol is not present. As a rule the quantity of alkaloidal pre- 
cipitate by this reagent is greater than the quantity of cocaine 
that can be extracted by washing out the alkaline solution 
with ether, so that in exact examinations a recourse to weigh- 
ing is considered advisable. The dried precipitate weighed 
and multiplied by 0.406 will give about the amount of alka- 
loid present. With Mayer's reagent used in half strength the 
following values for the equivalent of the reagent are given : 

1 c.c of Mayer's reagent 
(half strength) precipi- 
tates of cocaine. 

200 0.0062 

300 ... 0.0066 

400 , 0.0070 

500.. ..0.0074 

Strength of 
cocaine solution. 


1:600 0.0078 

The following table may also be of service: 

Quantity of Mayer's Reagent (N, a ) Necessary to Precipitate a Given 
Quantity of Cocaine. 

Measure of Fluid Titrated. 

5 c.c. 

10 c.c. 

15 c.c. 

30 c.c. 

.010 .. 





















9 5 







Results higher or lower than those indicated are beyond the 
limits of the experiment and would call for repetition. 47 

The principal tests employed to determine the purity of 

"Lyons; Note; 1886. 


cocaine hydrochloride are the permanganate of potash and 
Maclagan's ammonia test. When one drop of a one per cent, 
solution of permanganate of potash is added to 5 c.c. of a two 
per cent, solution of hydrochloride of cocaine mixed with 
three drops of dilute sulphuric acid, it occasions a pink tint 
which should not entirely disappear within half an hour. 
When added to a stronger solution it occasions a precipitate of 
rhombic plates, which decompose on heating. If cinnamyl- 
cocaine be present the odor of bitter almonds is given off with 
the decomposition. 

The Maclagan test is based upon the supposition that the 
amorphous alkaloids of Coca when set free by ammonia are 
separated as oily drops and so form a milky solution. It is 
employed by adding one or two drops of ammonia to a solu- 
tion of cocaine, which is then vigorously stirred with a glass 
rod. If the salt is pure a formation of crystals will be de- 
posited upon the rod and upon the side of the vessel within 
five minutes, while the solution will remain clear. If isatro- 
pyl-cocaine be present crystallization will not take place and 
the solution will become milky. 

Considerable stress has been laid upon the value of this 
test for determining the purity of cocaine salts. Dr. Guen- 
ther 48 asserts that a perfectly pure cocaine will not show the 
Maclagan reaction, while if a small quantity of a new base 
which he described as cocathylin, with a melting point of 110 
C., be present, the test will be pronounced. In endeavoring 
to show that this was an error, one of the largest manufactur- 
ers of cocaine in Germany worked up four thousand kilos of 
Coca leaves, and though they failed to find the new base which 
had been mentioned, they also proved that a pure cocaine will 
respond positively to the Maclagan test. 49 In support of this 
Paul and Cownley 50 have expressed the opinion that any co- 
caine which does not satisfy this test should not be regarded as 
sufficiently pure for pharmaceutical purposes, views which are 
also maintained by E. Merck. 51 

Of the various reagents that have been found delicate in 

Guenther; Feb. 2, 1899. 

49 Boehringer and Soehne; person, com.: Mannheim. Germany, 1899. 

60 Paul and Cownley; p. 587; 1898. 61 Person, com.; Darmstadt; July, 1899. 



testing for cocaine Mayer's reagent will detect one part in one 
hundred thousand, while a solution of iodine in iodide of 
potash will determine one part in four hundred thousand, with 
a very faint yellow precipitate. 

It has been shown by Gerrard that njydriatic alkaloids 
have a peculiar action with mercuric chloride, from the aque- 
ous solution of which they precipitate mercuric oxide, the 
other natural alkaloids giving no precipitate at all, or at least 
not separating mercuric oxide. The late Professor Fliicki- 


ger, verifying this action on cocaine, found the test recorded a 
very abundant purely white precipitate, \vhich very speedily 
turned red, as in the case of the other mydriatic alkaloids. 52 

It has been found, on treating cocaine or one of its salts in 
the solid state with fuming nitric acid, sp. gr. 1.4, evaporating 
to dryness and treating with one or two drops of strong alco- 
holic solution of potash, there is given off on stirring this with 
a glass rod a distinct odor suggestive of peppermint. 53 This 

a* Fliiokiger; 1S8C. S3 F. da Silva; 1890. 


odor test has been pronounced very delicate and is distinctive 
for cocaine, no other alkaloid having been found to yield a 
similar reaction. 

There are several cocaine manufacturers in Peru. A few 
years ago there were five in Huanuco, one in the District of 
Mozon, one in Pozuso, two at Lima, one at Callao, at least two 
of which are run on an extensive scale. In 1894 the amount 
of the crude product manufactured in Peru and sent abroad 
for purification was four thousand seven hundred and sixteen 
kilos. A personal communication from Peru, dated January 
15, 1900, states that the local manufacturers of cocaine are in- 
creasing their facilities and claim that they work with a better 
method than is followed elsewhere. 

In 1890 Dr. Squibb called attention to the fact that crude 
cocaine was made so efficiently in Peru that it seemed highly 
probable that the importation of Coca leaves to this market 
was nearly at an end. This crude cocaine has a characteristic 
nicotine odor ; it comes in a granular powder or in fragments 
of press cake, generally of a dull creamy white color, but 
rarely quite uniform throughout, the color ranging from dirty 
brownish white to very nearly white. Some of the fragments 
are horny, compact and hard, while others are softer and more 
porous. The following process has been given for determin- 
ing the amount of cocaine present in the crude product : 54 

A small quantity being taken from a large number of 
lumps in the parcels, selected on account of their difference in 
appearance, the determination of moisture in the samples so 
selected is found by fusion at 91 C. The solubility of the 
samples in ether at a specific gravity .725 at 15.6 C., is then 
tested. The insoluble residue is thoroughly washed with 
ether, dried and weighed. The alkaloid dissolved by the ether 
is converted into oxalate, and the oxalate shaken out by water. 
The residue which is soluble in ether is then determined by 
evaporation of the ethereal solution. The aqueous solution of 
cocaine oxalate is rendered faintly alkaline by soda ; the freed 
alkaloid shaken out with ether, and after spontaneous evapor- 
ation of the ether and complete drying of the crystals pro- 

" Squibb; XXXVIII. 


duced, the pure alkaloid is estimated. The usual yield of 
pure crystallizable alkaloid from this crude product varies 
from fifty to seventy-five per cent. 

Crude cocaine when united with acids assumes an intense 
green color, due to the presence of benzoyl-ecgonine, while its 
characteristic chemical reaction is its property of splitting 
into benzoic acid and methyl alcohol. 

Cocaine combines readily with acids to form salts, which 
are readily soluble in water and alcohol, though insoluble in 
ether. These salts, owing to their more ready solubility, have 
a more marked anaesthetic action on mucous surfaces than the 
pure alkaloid. There has been prepared benzoate, borate, 
citrate, hydrobromate, hydrochlorate, nitrate, oleate, oxalate, 
salicylate, sulphate, tartrate, etc. 

According to the II. S. Pharmacopoeia the following are 
the characteristics of cocaine hydrochlorate, the salt com- 
monly employed : "Colorless, transparent crystals, or a white 
crystalline powder, without odor, of a saline, slightly bitter 
taste, and producing upon the tongue a tingling sensation, fol- 
lowed by numbness of some minutes' duration. Permanent 
in the air. Soluble at 15 C. (59 F.) in 0.48 part of water 
and in 8.5 parts of alcohol; very soluble in boiling water and 
in boiling alcohol ; also soluble in 2,800 parts of ether or in 17 
parts of chloroform. On heating a small quantity of the pow- 
dered salt for twenty minutes at a temperature of 100 C. 
(212 F.), it should not suffer any material loss (absence of 
water of crystallization). The prolonged application of heat 
to the salt or to its solution induces decomposition. At 193 
C. (379.4 F/) the salt melts with partial sublimation, form- 
ing a light brownish yellow liquid. When ignited it is con- 
sumed without leaving a residue. The salt is neutral to lit- 
mus paper." 

In reviewing the research of many workers it may be seen 
how each has closely approached, often with a mere hint or 
suggestion, results which later have been verified and de- 
scribed more in detail. Through this repetition many new 
facts have been made positive to us. Assertions have been 
strengthened or have been cast aside, and while the result has 



been to render a cocaine of purer quality, it has at the same 
time emphasized the immensity of our ignorance concerning 
the subtleties of alkaloidal formation. 

More than all, these researches must impress the fact that 
similar changes to those which are possible in the laboratory 
of the chemist are also at work in Nature's laboratory, and 
that the therapeutic influence and efficiency of Coca, as of any 
remedy taken into the body, must be markedly affected by the 
transmutations of the organism. 



"Good wine makes good blood, good blood causeth good humors, 
good humors cause good thoughts, good thoughts bring forth good 
works, good works carry a man to Heaven; ergo good wine carrieth 
a man to Heaven." 

J. Howell, Familiar Letters, Bk. II., liv. 

UST how alkaloids are produced in 
plants, while a subject full of interest 
to the chemist and physiologist, is one 
upon which our knowledge is not yet 
very exact. But inasmuch as there 
exists an intimate association between 
plant physiology and that of animal 
life, there is also an ultimate compari- 
son between those bodies which are 

considered as the excrementive principles of plants and simi- 
lar waste products which in some examples are closely allied 
chemically to these that are cast out by the animal tissues. 

The first separation of the active principle of a plant is 
attributed to a pharmacist of Eimbeck, in Hanover, named 
Sertiirner, who about 1817 isolated from opium a basic sub- 
stance to which he gave the name "morphium." This was 
rapidly followed by the discovery of strychnine and brucine, 
in 1818, and of quinine and cinchonine, by Pelletier and 
Caventou, in 1820, and later, in 1827, the volatile alkaloid 



conine was obtained from hemlock by Giseke, and by Geiger, 
while in the following year nicotine was described by Posselt 
and Reimann. 

The plants yielding alkaloids are widely distributed 
throughout the vegetable kingdom, belonging chiefly to the 
botanical division of dicotyledons. These substances are not 
found in the familiar Graminiece and Labiates, and are rarely 
obtained in plants of the extensive order of composites, and 
thus far in only one family of the monocotyledons the Col- 
cliicece.^ Alkaloids are nitrogenous carbon compounds, hav- 
ing basic properties, which are usually formed as the salts of 
organic acids. The greater number of them contain carbon, 
hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, though in a few cases oxygen 
is absent, and the resultant alkaloid is volatile, as nicotine, 
conine, sparteine, and some of the oily Coca bases. 

Chemically, the vegetable alkaloids may be arranged in 
three groups, the first being derivatives of pyridine as atro- 
pine and conine, the second derivatives of quinoline as nar- 
cotine and cinchonine, the third those of the xanthin group 
which are allied to urea, as caffeine. Nearly all the vegetable 
alkaloids belong to the first and second class, all of which 
contain nitrogen, and are probably formed by the action of 
ammonia, or amido compounds which are derived from am- 
rnonia, upon non-nitrogenous bodies. 2 

Pyridine C 5 H 5 N, may be regarded as a benzin 
CH 6 , in which one CH group has been replaced by one of 
nitrogen. The pyridine bases, metameric with aniline and 
its homologues, are contained in coal-tar, naphtha, tobacco 
smoke, and many organic substances. Kb'nigs proposed con- 
fining the name alkaloid to plant derivatives of this origin. 
Quinoline C 9 II 7 N, has the same relation to naphthalene 
C 10 H 8 , that pyridine has to benzin; that is, it is derived 
by substituting one atom of nitrogen for one of the CH group 
in naphthalene. 3 

Originally an alkaloid was regarded merely as the active 
principle of the plant from which it was obtained, but as the 
number increased, and as allied substances were also found 

1 Thorpe; 1893. a Watts; 1889. 3 Allen: 192. 



in animal tissues which were often spoken of as alkaloids, 
the general term has become conf usional when applied to these 
bodies without regard to their derivation. With the advance 
in organic chemistry, which has enabled the building up of 
compounds from coal-tar products in the laboratory to inti- 
mately resemble the true plant bases, it is often important to 
distinguish between those alkaloids which are natural and 
those which are of artificial production. Yet this very fact 
has indicated the correlation of all matter, and the investiga- 
tions of the chemist and physiologist have happily progressed 
together, each furthering the research of the other. 

It is not so many years ago that it was taught there was 


an abrupt difference between the chemistry of the inert and 
the living, while the several compounds that were described 
as cast out by living cells were supposed only capable of pro- 
duction by organized structures, but when Woehler manu- 
factured urea synthetically, it was seen that this sharp dis- 
tinction could no longer be true. Among organized bodies 
the association, and even interdependence, between the higher 
order of plants and animals is of course even far more strik- 
ing. Long before the Christian Era Aristotle attempted to 
trace an absolute connection between all living things, and 
though it would seem that one might immediately pronounce 
to which class an organism belongs, it is really not so simple. 


The lower forms of one so nearly approach the lower forms 
of the other order that biologists have often found extreme 
difficulty in determining a classification that shall be gener- 
ally accepted by naturalists. 

The old illustration as showing the distinction between 
plants and animals, that the former absorb carbonic acid and 
give off oxygen, while animals do just the reverse, is only 
partially true, for while it is a fact that animals give off car- 
bonic acid, plants cannot live in the absence of oxygen, which 
is essential to furthering the processes of their metabolism. 
As another illustration, it was shown that plants have not 
the power of voluntary motion possessed by animals, but this 
assertion was shown to be wrong by numerous examples among 
the lower forms which are precisely the reverse. All individ- 
ual cells must possess the power of motion, and some of the 
lower plant organisms actually move from place to place in- 
deed, locomotion is absolutely necessary to their existence. 4 
On the other hand, some lower animal structures are perma- 
nently fixed, so that the older comparisons are not definite. 
Similar chemical changes take place in the cell structure of 
plants and animals. All must have motion incidental to 
growth, together with the functions of sleep, nutrition and 
irritability, which latter property is manifest by certain 
plants to a remarkable degree under the influence of such 
nitrogenous foods as raw meat, milk or albumen. 5 

As vegetable alkaloids are considered to be the excreta of 
plants, we cannot properly draw any conclusion concerning 
their probable formation without regarding the changes 
which are brought about in the life of the organism producing 
them. As these processes are intimately allied to changes 
Avhich are undergone under similar conditions in the animal 
being, a review of the subject may not be wholly uninterest- 
ing, while it will enable us to more fully appreciate the pos- 
sible action of the products of the Coca leaf when we come to 
consider the application of that interesting plant more di- 
rectly in the human economy. 

All organic structure is built up through a constant break- 

1 Darwin; 1880. 5 Idem; 1875. 


ing down and rearrangement of simple chemical elements. 
In the case of plants, the compounds of the elements which 
have been admixed with the soil are carried in solution 
through the root to the most remote cells of the leaf. There 
these chemical bodies are converted into complex substances, 
which under suitable stimuli are built to form the tissues of 
the organism. These subtle changes take place only under 
the influence of that mighty alchemist, the sun. 

It would seem that the Incas were not far wrong in re- 
garding this great source of light and activity as at least the 
physical source of all power, for not only is plant life de- 
pendent upon the action of the sun, but the animal being is in 
turn dependent upon plant structure. Those compounds 
which have been so mysteriously molded into vegetable or- 
ganisms must be torn apart and dissolved in order to set free 
the elements of which animal structure is composed. Here 
these elements are rearranged to the necessities of a higher 
organization, where they may continue a still more complex 
existence. This constant interchange is carried on through 
plants and animals through animals and plants each or- 
ganism converting and reconverting, from age to age, the 
various elements appropriate to its own requirements. In 
the performance of these functional processes, each cell of the 
tissues creates for itself, as well as for surrounding bodies, 
that combination of energy which we call life. These changes 
are carried on without intermediary loss of matter which 
we know is indestructible regardless of the extent or method 
of the many conversions it may have undergone since crea- 
tion, and shall continue to undergo until the end of time. 
So that it is theoretically, if not literally, possible that : 

"Imperious Csesar, dead and turn'd to clay, 
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away." 

There are four principal elements of the sixty-seven or 
more known ones which may be regarded as the very basis of 
life. These are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, and 
all organic changes take place in accordance with the varying 
proportions that these elements unite with each other. Car- 
lson we are apt to carelessly regard as that coke-like substance 


made familiar to us through its employment in electricity, 
without stopping to recall its important relation to all organic 
tissue. It enters into the building of other cells than electric, 
for it is found, without exception, in every tissue of organic 
life. It seems difficult to understand how so apparently inert 
a substance can become intimately incorporated with living 
structures. Carbon, which as a product of combustion is every- 
where diffused as carbonic acid, is carried as a gas and in 
solution to the plant and is absorbed by the roots and stomata 
of the leaves. Here under sunshine it is deposited for imme- 
diate use or to form emergency food for the tissues, while the 
oxygen is set free to again enter into the performance of 
those multiple chemical processes included in growth and 
decay. So important is the influence of carbon in all or- 
ganic structures that Pfliiger has advanced the theory that 
carbon united with nitrogen as cyanogen constituted the 
radical which formed the very nucleus of creation of that 
molten chaos from which all existence sprung. 

Nitrogen may be regarded, if not the source of all energy, 
certainly as the chemical creator of force, for it is absolutely 
necessary in all compounds from which power is to be de- 
rived. The changes due to oxygen are so much more spoken 
of that it would seem the importance of nitrogen is often dis- 
regarded. Though everywhere about us this element cannot, 
like oxygen, be readily forced into union, and plants can- 
not take in free nitrogen. But so essential is this subtle 
element to all organic energies through its formation of pro- 
teids and their decomposition, that it must be coaxed into 
suitable combinations by similar transmutations as those for 
the deposit of carbon the activity of vegetable life under the 
stimulus of sunshine. Its combinations, however, are loose 
and maintained with difficulty, yet this very effort for con- 
stant freedom causes this to be the most important element 
of all chemical compounds in which it is associated. The 
property of nitrogen of escaping from union and liberating 
energy is made use of in the high explosives, and is also ex- 
hibited in the more subtle decompositions of decay, which 
owe their potency to the nitrogen contained in their ammonia. 


Similar changes due to the influence of nitrogen are con- 
stantly going on in the processes of metabolism in all organic 
tissue. We have an instance of this when the carbohydrates 
of plants are converted into proteid structures, which, decom- 
posing, again set free their nitrogen as excreta in the form 
of alkaloids. Again this property is shown in the human 
laboratory when the pent-up nitrogen in the Coca leaf is 
brought to bear upon the customary maize dietary of the 
Andean, and as a result the starchy elements are converted 
into the more complex molecule of the flesh-forming proteid. 

With these four primary elements are mingled others, in- 
cluding sulphur, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, 
iron, and the gaseous element chlorine, all of which may 
serve to nourish certain tissues of the organism to which they 
are carried in solution of various compounds. So while 
the several primary elements are essential to the struc- 
ture of every organism, it is impossible for them to be 
utilized in the upbuilding of tissue until carried to the cell in 
fluid form. In the case of plant life, the elements are con- 
veyed in such dilution of their salts that their presence is 
seemingly physically absent, while the fluids are apparently 
but simple water. This solution is taken up from the soil 
through the roots, yet the selection may not be only of such 
substances as are of positive nutritive value, but of other sub- 
stances in solution, which may even be injurious. 

That all living things are composed of cells has been 
known since Marcello Malpighi, Professor of Medicine in the 
University at Bologna, in 1G70, first explained this arrange- 
ment of tissues coincident with an English botanist, Nehe- 
miah Grew, who originally described the stomata or little 
mouths of leaves. These two investigators, singularly enough, 
though working independently and many miles apart, each 
presented a paper before the Royal Society of London upon 
this subject on the same day. It seems remarkable, in view 
of the present regard for the importance of the cell doctrine, 
that this fact required nearly one hundred and seventy years 
for elaboration, for it did not receive final adoption until 
1838, when it was accepted as the scientific basis of life. 



Herbarium. Museum of Natural History; Paris. 


Though the structural formation may be different, it is 
nevertheless true that all tissue is built up of cells modified 
in form or function, and all organic life is but an aggregation 
of the cell which thus constitutes the unit of existence. 
The various changes of growth and decay are to be observed 
through these cells whether of bone, of wood, of muscle or 
of leaf, and the comparative study under the microscope of 
these primary tissues emphasizes the assurance that all the 
world is akin. The cell is in fact the beginning of life for 
both animals and plants, and the organism is but an aggrega- 
tion or community of these primitive parts. So alike indeed 
are the embryonic cells, as Karl von Baer, in 1828, pointed 
out, that the various species cannot be determined from any 
differences discernible, even by the aid of the most powerful 
microscope. From this it would seem but an easy gradation 
to infer the doctrine of evolution. All change in life is akin 
to the change within these little cells due to the taking in and 
excretion of matter in which carbonic acid plays a most im- 
portant part. 

In the Coca leaf, as indeed in all plants, the cell wall is 
made up of cellulose, a carbohydrate substance allied to 
starch, with the formula xC 6 H 10 O 5 . The material for the 
building of this substance, it is presumed, is secreted by the 
cell contents or by a conversion of protoplasm under the in- 
fluence of nitrogen. This product is deposited particle by 
particle inside of the wall already formed. Accompanying 
this growth there may occur certain changes in the physical 
properties of the cell as the wall takes in new substances, such 
as silica and various salts, or as there is an elaboration 
and deposit of gum, 6 pectose and lignin. Each living cell 
contains a viscid fluid, of extremely complex chemical com- 
position the protoplasm a layer of which is in contact with 
the cell wall and connected by bridles with a central mass in 
which the nucleus containing the nucleolus is embedded. The 
protoplasm does not fill the whole cavity of the cell, but there 
is a large space filled with the watery sap. 

The sap carries in solution certain sugars, together with 

Frank; 1867. 


glycogen and two varieties of glucose, and such organic acids 
and coloring matters as may already have been elaborated. 
Where metabolism is active, certain crystallizable nitrogenous 
bodies, as asparagin. leucin and tyrosin, with salts of potas- 
sium and sodium, are found, while in the vacuole there may 
be starch grains and some crystals of calcium oxalate. The 
protoplasm is chemically made up of proteids, of which two 
groups may be distinguished in plants. The first embracing 
the plastin, such as forms the frame work of the cell, and the 
second the peptones of the seeds, and the globulins found in 
the buds and in young shoots. 7 These proteids all consist of 
carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur, while plas- 
tin also contains phosphorus. In active growing cells the pro- 
teids are present in a quantity, which gradually diminishes as 
the cell becomes older, leaving the plastin as the organized pro- 
teid wall of the cell, while the globulins and peptones remain 
unorganized. The whole constructive metabolism of the plant 
is toward the manufacture of this protoplasm, the chemical 
decomposition and conversion of which liberates the energy 
which continues cell life. 

In certain cells of the plant associated with the proto- 
plasm, and presumably of a similar chemical composition, 
are little corpuscles, which contain the chlorophyl constituting 
the green coloring matter of plants, a substance which from 
its chemical construction and physiological function may 
have some important influence on the alkaloid formation in 
the Coca leaf. In these bodies the chlorophyl is held in 
an oily medium, which exudes in viscid drops when the 
granules are treated with dilute acids or steam. Al- 
though no iron has been found in these bodies by anatysis, it 
is known that chlorophyl cannot be developed without the 
presence of iron in the soil. Gautier, from an alcoholic ex- 
tract, calculated the formula C 19 H 22 N2O 3 , and called atten- 
tion to the similarity between this and that of bilirubin, 
C 16 H 18 1S[2O3 the primary pigment forming the golden red 
color of the human bile, which possibly may be allied to the 
red corpuscles of the blood. Chlorophyl, while commonly 

TReinke; 1881. 


only formed under appropriate conditions of light and heat, 
may in some cases be produced in complete darkness, in a 
suitable temperature. Thus if a seed be made to germinate 
in the dark, the seedling will be not green, but pale yellow, 
and the plant is anaemic, or is termed etiolated, though cor- 
puscles are present, which, under appropriate conditions, will 
give rise to chlorophyl. 

It has been found that etiolated plants become green more 
readily in diffused light than in bright sunshine. The process 
of chlorophyl formation neither commences directly when an 
etiolated plant is exposed to light, nor ceases entirely when a 
green plant is placed in darkness, but the action continues 
through what has been termed photo-chemical induction. 
From experiments to determine the relative efficacy of dif- 
ferent rays of the spectrum it has been found that in light of 
low intensity seedlings turn green more rapidly under yellow 
rays, next under green, then under red, and less rapidly under 
blue. In intense light the green formation is quicker under 
blue than under yellow, while under the latter condition de- 
composition is more rapid. 

The function of chlorophyl is to break up carbonic acid, 
releasing oxygen, and converting the carbon into storage food 
for the tissues, the first visible stage of which constructive 
metabolism is the formation of starch. The activity of this 
property may be regarded as extremely powerful when it is 
considered that in order to reduce carbonic acid artificially 
it requires the extraordinary temperature of 1300 C. (2372 
F.). In the leaf this action takes place under the influence 
of appropriate light and heat from the sun in the ordinary 
temperature of 10-30 C. (50-S6 F.). 8 Plants which do 
not contain chlorophyl as fungi obtain their supply of 
carbon through more complex compounds in union with hy- 

Perhaps we are too apt to regard plants as chiefly cellu- 
lose carbohydrates, and water, without considering the im- 
portance of their nitrogenous elements, for though these latter 
substances may be present in relatively small proportion, 

Curtis; p. 71; 1897. 


they are as essential in the formation of plant tissue as in ani- 
mal structures. The carbohydrates of plants include starch, 
sugars, gums, and inulin. The starch or an allied substance, 
as has been shown, being elaborated by the chlorophyl 
granules, or in those parts of the plant where these bodies do 
not exist, by special corpuscles in the protoplasm, termed 
amyloplasts, which closely resemble the chlorophyl bodies. 
In the first instance the change is more simple and under the 
influence of light, in the latter light is not directly essential 
and the process is more complex, the starch formation begin- 
ning with intermediate substances as asparagin, or glucose, 
by conversion of the sugars in the cell sap. 

Just as in the human organism, assimilation in plant tis- 
sue cannot take place except through solution, so the stored up 
starch is of no immediate service until it is rendered soluble. 
In other words, it must be prepared in a way analogous to 
the digestion of food in animal tissues. This is done by the 
action of certain ferments manufactured by the protoplasm. 
These do not directly enter into the upbuilding of tissue them- 
selves, but induce the change in the substance upon which 
they act. Chiefly by a process of hydration, in which several 
molecules of water are added, the insoluble bodies are ren- 
dered soluble, and are so carried in solution to various por- 
tions of the plant. Here they are rearranged as insoluble 
starch, to serve as the common storage tissue for sustenance. 
Thus it will be seen how very similar are the processes of as- 
similation in plants and animals, a marked characteristic be- 
tween both being that the same elementary chemical sub- 
stances are necessary in the upbuilding of their tissues, and 
particularly that activity is absent where assimilable nitrogen 
is not present. 

Several organic acids occur in plant cells, either free or 
combined, which are probably products of destructive meta- 
bolism, either from the oxidation of carbohydrates or from 
the decomposition of proteids. Liebig regarded the highly 
oxidized acids especially oxalic, as being the first products 
of constructive metabolism, which, by gradual reduction, 
formed carbohydrates and fats, in support of which he re- 




ferred to the fact that as fruits ripen they become less sour, 
which he interpreted to mean that the acid is converted into 
sugar. 9 The probability, however, is that oxalic acid is the 
product of destructive metabolism, and is the final stage of 
excretion from which alkaloids are produced, while it is sig- 
nificant, when considering the Coca products, that acids may 
by decomposition be formed from proteid or may by oxidation 
be converted into other acids. 

Oxalic acid is very commonly found in the leaf cells com- 
bined with potassium or calcium. It is present in the cells of 
the Coca leaf as little crystalline cubes or prisms. Malic 
acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid are familiar as the products 
of various fruits. Tannic acid is chiefly found as the astring- 
ent property of various barks. Often a variety of this acid 
is characteristic of the plant and associated with its alkaloid. 
This is the case with the tannic acid described by Xiemann 
in his separation of cocaine, which is intimately related to 
the alkaloids of the Coca leaf, just as quinine is combined 
with quinic acid and morphine with meconic acid. It has 
been suggested that the yield of alkaloid from the Coca leaf is 
greater in the presence of a large proportion of tannic acid. 

Tannin is formed in the destructive metabolism of the 
protoplasm, as a glucoside product intermediate between the 
carbohydrate and the purely aromatic bodies, such as benzoic 
and cinnamic acids, which are formed from the oxidative 
decomposition of the glucosides. In addition to these are 
found fatty oils, associated with the substances of the cell, 
and essential oils, to which the fragrance of the flower or 
plant is due, and which are secreted in special walled cells. 
The resins are found as crude resins, balsams a mixture of 
resin and ethereal oil with an aromatic acid, and gum resins 
a mixture of gum, resin and ethereal oil. The ethereal oils 
include a great number of substances with varying chemical 
composition, having no apparent constructive use to the tis- 
sues, but, Iik3 the alkaloids, regarded merely as waste. Some 
of these products serve by their unpleasant properties to repel 
animals and insects, while others serve to attract insects and 

Vines; p. 230; 1886. 


thus contribute to the fertilization of the flower, so all these 
bodies may be of some relative use. 

The proteids of the plant are supposed to be produced 
from some non-nitrogenous substance possibly formic alde- 
hyde by a combination formed from the absorbed nitrates, 
sulphates and phosphates, in union with one of the organic 
acids, particularly oxalic. The change being from the less 
complex compound to a highly nitrogenous organic substance, 
termed an amide, which, with the non-nitrogenous substance 
and sulphur, unite to form the proteid. The amides are 
crystallizable nitrogenous substances, built up synthetically, 
or formed by the breaking down of certain compounds. They 
are similar to some of the final decomposition products found 
in the animal body. Belonging to this group of bodies is 
xanthin, which Kossel supposed to be directly derived from 
nuclein, from the nucleus of the plant cell. But in whatever 
manner the amides are formed, it is believed they are ulti- 
mately used in the construction of proteid, and although this 
substance is produced in all parts of the plant, it is found 
more abundant in the cells containing chlorophyl. Proteids 
are found to gradually increase from the roots toward the 
leaves, where they are most abundant. This would seem to 
indicate that the leaf is the especial organ in which proteid 
formation takes place, and it is in this portion of the Coca 
plant that the excreted alkaloids are found most abundantly. 

According to Schiitzenberger, the proteid structures are 
composed of ureids, derivatives of carbamide, and Grimaux 
considers they are broken by hydrolysis into carbonic acid, 
ammoniac and amidic acids, thus placing them in near rela- 
tion with uric acid, which also gives by hydrolysis, carbonic 
acid, ammoniac acid and glycocol. In animal tissues the last 
product of excrementitiori is carbamide or uric acid, while 
the compounds from which proteids are formed in plants have 
been shown to be amides. It has been shown in the labora- 
tory that the chemical products from the breaking down of 
proteids are also amides, with which carbonic acid and oxalic 
acid are nearly always formed. The presence of hippuric 
acid in the urine of herbivorous animals, the indol and the 


skatol found in the products of pancreatic digestion (Salkow- 
ski), together with the ty rosin nearly always present in the 
animal body, has led to the supposition that aromatic groups 
may also be constituents of the proteid molecule. 10 

All of this is of the greatest interest in the study of alka- 
loid production in connection with the fact, which has been 
proved, that when a plant does not receive nitrogen from 
outside it will not part with the amount of that element pre- 
viously contained in other words, the nitrogenous excreta 
will not be thrown off. Boussingault thought the higher 
plants flourished best when supplied with nitrogen in the 
form of nitrates, though Lehmann has found that many 
plants flourish better when supplied with ammonia salts than 
Avhen supplied with nitrates, and this has been well marked 
in the case of the tobacco plant. 

Nitric acid may be absorbed by a plant in the form of 
any of its salts which can diffuse into the tissues, the most 
common bases being soda, potash, lime, magnesia and am- 
monia. The formation of this acid, attendant upon the elec- 
tric conditions of the atmosphere, may be one source of in- 
crease of vigor to the native soil of the Coca plant, where the 
entire region of the montana is so subject to frequent elec- 
trical storms. Then Coca flourishes best in soils rich in 
humus, and various observers have remarked that nitrogen is 
best fixed in such a soil. An interesting point in connection 
with which is that the ammonia supplied to the soil by de- 
composition of nitrogenous substances is converted into ni- 
trous, and this into nitric acid, by a process termed nitrifica- 
tion, occasioned by the presence of certain bacteria in the soil 
to which this property is attributed. Proof of this was deter- 
mined by chloroforming a section of nitrifying earth and 
finding that the process on that area ceased. 11 The absorp- 
tion of nitrogen by the Coca plant and the development of 
proteids is closely associated with the nitrogenous excreta 
from the plant, and the consequent production of alkaloids 
which we are attempting to trace. 

The nitrogen of the soil, however induced, is transferred 

10 Kozlowski; 1899. u Schlosing and Muntz; 1879. 


by oxidation into what has been termed the reduced nitrogen 
of amides, 12 which, in combination with carbohydrates, under 
appropriate conditions forms proteids, in which oxalic acid 
is an indirect product. Several observers consider the leaves 
as active in this process, 13 because the nitrogenous compounds 
are found to accumulate in the leaf until their full develop- 
ment, when they decrease. This is illustrated by the fact 
that in autumn, when new proteids are not necessary to ma- 
tured leaves, it accumulates in the protoplasm, from which it 
is transferred to the stem, to be stored up as a food for the 
following season's growth. 

It has been found that the nitrates, passing from the roots 
as calcium nitrate, are changed in the leaves by the chloro- 
phyl in the presence of light with the production of calcium 
oxalate, 14 while nitric acid is set free, and conversely, In 
darkness the nitrates are permitted to accumulate. This 
change is influenced by the presence of oxalic acid, which, 
even in small quantities, is capable of decomposing the most 
dilute solutions of calcium nitrate. 15 The free nitric acid in 
combination with a carbohydrate forms the protein molecule, 
while setting free carbonic acid and water. 

Cellulose, which we have seen is formed from protoplasm, 
is dependent upon the appropriate conversion of the nitro- 
genous proteid. When this formation is active, large 
amounts of carbohydrates are required to form anew the 
protein molecule of the protoplasm, and the nitrogenous ele- 
ment is utilized. When there is an insufficiency of carbo- 
hydrate material the relative amount of nitrogen increases 
because the conditions are not favorable for its utilization in 
the production of proteids, and this excess of nitrogen is con- 
verted into amides, which are stored up. When the carbo- 
hydrate supply to the plant is scanty in amount this reserve 
store of amides is consumed, just the same as the reserve fat 
would be consumed in the animal structure under similar 
conditions. 16 

The relation between the normal use of nitrogen in plants 
is analogous to its influence in animal structure, while the 

12 Kozlowski; 1899. 13 Sachs: 18f>2. 14 Schimper; 1888. 15 Emmerling; 1887. 
16 Schulze and Urich; 1875-1877; Kozlowski, p. 35, 1899. 


final products in both cases are similar, the distinction being 
chiefly one in the method of chemical conversion and excre- 
tion due to the difference in organic function. Thus, al- 
though urea and uric acid are not formed in plants, the final 
products of both animals and plants are closely allied. We 
see this especially in the alkaloids caffeine and theobromine, 
which are almost identical with uric acid, so much so that 
Haig considers that a dose of caffeine is equivalent to intro- 
ducing into the system an equal amount of uric acid. 

There are numerous examples, not only in medicinal sub- 
stances, but in the more familiar vegetables and fruits, which 
illustrate the possibilities of change due to cultivation. The 
Siberian rhododendron varies its properties from stimulant 
to a narcotic or cathartic, in accordance with its location of 
growth. Aconite, assafretida, cinchona, digitalis, opium and 
rhubarb are all examples which show the influence of soil 
and cultivation.* Indeed similar effects are to be seen 
everywhere about us, certain characteristics being promi- 
nently brought forth by stimulating different parts of the 
organism, so that ultimately distinct varieties are constituted. 
The poisonous Persian almond has thus become the luscious 
peach. The starchy qualities of the potato are concentrated 
in its increased tuber, and certain poisonous mushrooms have 
become edible. The quality of the flour from wheat is in- 
fluenced by locality and cultivation. The tomato, cabbage, 
celery, asparagus, are all familiar examples which emphasize 
the possibility of shaping nature's wild luxuriance to man's 
cultured necessity. 

The chemical elements which are taken up by a plant 
vary considerably with the conditions of environment, and the 
influence of light in freeing acid in the leaf has been indi- 
cated. These conditions necessarily modify the constituents 
of the plant. When metabolism is effected certain changes 
take place in the tissues, with the formation of substances 
which may be undesirable to the plant, yet may be medicin- 
ally serviceable. Such a change occurs in the sprouts of pota- 
toes stored in the dark, when the poisonous base solania is 

* Paris; p. 72, et scq.; 1846. 


formed, which under normal conditions of growth is not 
present in the plant. A familiar example of change due to 
environment is exhibited in the grape, which may contain a 
varying proportion of acid, sugar and salts in accordance 
with the soil, climate and conditions of its cultivation, nor 
are these variations merely slight, for they are sufficient to 
generate in the wine made from the fruit entirely different 
tastes and properties. 

In view of these facts, it seems creditable to suppose that 
by suitable processes of cultivation the output of alkaloids 
may be influenced in plants, and such experiments have al- 
ready been extensively carried out in connection with the 
production of quinine. When attention was directed to the 
scientific cultivation of cinchona in the East, it was remarked 
that when manured with highly nitrogenous compounds the 
yield of alkaloid was greatly increased. This is paralleled 
by the fact that when an animal consumes a large quantity of 
nitrogenous food the output of urea and uric acid is greater. 

Alkaloids are regarded as waste products because they 
cannot enter into the constructive metabolism of the plant, 
though they are not directly excreted, but are stored away 
where they will not enter the circulation, and may be soon 
shed, as in the leaf or bark. Though, as indicating their 
possible utility, it has been shown experimentally that plants 
are capable of taking up nitrogenous compounds, such as 
urea, uric acid, leucin, tyrosin, or glycocol, when supplied 
to their roots. In some recent experiments carried out at the 
botanical laboratory of Columbia University, I found that 
plant metabolism was materially hastened under the stimulus 
of cocaine. 

The influence of light in the formation of alkaloids has 
already been shown. Tropical plants which produce these 
substances in abundance in their native state often yield but 
small quantities when grown in hot houses, indicating that a 
too intense light is unfavorable, probably in stimulating a 
too rapid action of the chlorophyl, together with a decomposi- 
tion of the organic acid. Some years ago the botanist, Dr. 
Louis Errera, of Brussels, found that the young leaves of 



certain plants yielded more abundant alkaloid than those 
that were mature. Following this suggestion, Dr. Greshoff 
is said to have found that young Coca leaves yield nearly 
double the amount of alkaloid over that contained in old 
leaves gathered at the same time. In tea plantations the 
youngest leaves are gathered, but it has always been custom- 
ary to collect the mature leaves of the Coca plant, and these 
have usually been found to yield the greatest amount of alka- 
loid. The probability is that the amount of alkaloid present 
in the Coca leaf is not so much influenced by maturity as it is 
by the period of its gathering. 

As regards the temperature at which growth progresses 
most favorably, Martins 17 has compared each plant to a ther- 

I'ERUVIAN PORTRAIT VASES. [Tweddle Collection.} 

mometer, the zero point of which is the minimum tempera- 
ture at which its life is possible. Thus, the Coca shrub in its 
native state will support a range from 18 C. (64.4 F.) to 
30 C. (86 F.), an influence of temperature which is gov- 
erned by the proportion of water contained in the plant. It 
has been found, from experiments of cultivation, that Coca 
will flourish in a temperature considerably higher than that 
which was originally supposed bearable, though the alkaloidal 
yield is less than that grown more temperately. The life 
process of any plant, however, may be exalted as the tem- 
perature rises above its zero point, though only continuing to 
rise until a certain height is reached, at which it ceases en- 
tirely. In the cold, plants may undergo a similar hiberna- 
tion- as do certain animals when metabolism is lessened, 

Martins; 1846. 


though long-continued cold is fatal, and frost is always so 
absolutely to Coca. The influence of temperature on meta- 
bolism tends to alter the relations between the volume of car- 
bonic acid given off and the amount of oxygen absorbed. 
Under a mean temperature these relations are equal, while in 
a lower temperature more oxygen is absorbed in proportion to 
the carbonic acid given off, and oxygen exhalation ceases en- 
tirely below a certain degree. 

A relatively large proportion of -water in a plant deter- 
mines its susceptibility to climatic conditions. Thus freezing 
not only breaks the delicate parenchymatous tissues, but al- 
ters the chemical constitution of the cells, while too high a 
temperature may prove destructive through a coagulation of 
the albumen. The appearance of plants killed by high or 
low temperature being similar. Roots are stimulated to curve 
to their source of moisture, and their power for absorption 
is more active in a high than in a low temperature, but as 
absorption is influenced by the transpiration of the plant, it 
is less active in a moist atmosphere, unless the metabolic pro- 
cesses of the plant occasions a higher temperature than the 
surrounding air. Such activity would be increased by the 
heat of the soil about the roots, and is probably manifest in 
the Coca plant through the peculiar soil of the montaiia. 

The elevation at which a plant grows has an influence upon 
the absorption by the leaf. Thus it has been observed that 
while a slight increase in the carbonic acid gas contained in 
the air is favorable to growth, a considerable increase is pre- 
judicial, while an increase or diminution of atmospheric 
pressure materially influences plant life. In some tropical 
countries Coca will grow at the level of the sea, provided 
there is an equable temperature and requisite humidity. Al- 
though in Peru Coca flourishes side by side with the best 
coffee, it will not thrive at the elevations where the coffee 
plant is commonly grown in either the East or West Indies. 
In Java, where experiments have been made in cultivating 
Coca, it has been stated that there is no perceptible difference 
in the alkaloidal yield due to the influence of elevation, while 
in the best cocals of Peru it is considered that the higher the 


altitude at which Coca can be grown the greater will be the 
alkaloidal yield. This is possibly effected by similar influ- 
ences to that governing the aromatic properties developed in 
the coffee bean, which have been found more abundant when 
coffee is grown at an elevation, yet without danger of frost. 
This may be attributed to slower growth and a consequent 
deposit of nitrogenous principles instead of their being all 
consumed through a rapid metabolism. 

It is therefore evident that as these several physical con- 
ditions have a marked bearing upon the life history of all 
plants, the more limited the range for any of these processes 
in any particular plant, the more it will be influenced. Thus 
in an altitude too high, the leaf of the Coca plant is smaller 
and only one harvest is possible within the year, while in the 
lower regions where the temperature exceeds 20 C. (68 F.) 
vegetation may be exuberant, but the quality of leaf is im- 
paired. The electrical conditions of the atmosphere, it has 
been shown, have an important bearing upon the development 
of Coca, through the influence of the gases set free in the at- 
mosphere and the possible slight increase of nitric acid car- 
ried to the soil. 

It was thought by Martins that the mosses and lichens 
which are found upon the Coca shrubs were detrimental to 
the plant through favoring too great humidity. In the light 
of our knowledge on the development of alkaloids, however, 
it has seemed to me that here is an opportunity for very ex- 
tended experimentation, as may be inferred from a reference 
to the alkaloidal production of cinchona. At first efforts 
were made to free the cinchona trees from the lichens 
and mosses which naturally formed upon them; but it was 
discovered accidentally that those portions of the trees which 
Xature had covered in this manner yielded an increased 
amount of alkaloid. When cinchona plantations were 
started in Java, experiments made upon the result of this 
discovery prompted a systematic covering of the trunks of 
the trees artificially with moss, which was bound about them 
to the height from which the bark would be stripped. At 
first very great pains was taken to collect just an appropriate 


kind of moss, which it was supposed from its association 
with the tree in its native home would be essential, but later 
experiments proved that any form of covering which pro- 
tected the bark from light increased this alkaloidal yield. So 
that to-day this process, which is known as "mossing," is one 
of the most important in the cultivation and development of 

The chief interest of Coca to the commercial world has 
centered upon its possibilities in the production of the one 
alkaloid, cocaine, instead of a more general economic use of 
the leaf. Because of this, much confusion of terms has re- 
sulted, for chemists have designated the amount of alkaloids 
obtained from the leaf as cocaine, although they have quali- 
fied their statement by saying that a portion of this is un- 
crystallizable. Numerous experiments have been conducted 
to determine the relative yield of cocaine from the different 
varieties of Coca, and when uncrystallizable alkaloids have 
been found the leaf has been condemned for chemical uses. 
It will thus be appreciated how a great amount of error has 
been generated and continued. The Bolivian or Huanuco 
variety has been found to yield the largest percentage of 
crystallizable alkaloid, while the Peruvian or Truxillo vari- 
ety, though yielding nearly as much total alkaloid, affords 
a less percentage that is crystallizable, the Bolivian Coca 
being set apart for the use of the chemists to the exclusion of 
the Peruvian variety, which is richest in aromatic principles 
and best suited for medicinal purposes. As a matter of fact, 
the Peruvian Coca is the plant sought for by the native users. 

There is not only a difference in the yield of alkaloid 
from different varieties of Coca, but also a difference in the 
yield from plants of one variety from the same cocal, and it 
would seem possible by selection and propagation of the better 
plants to obtain a high percentage of alkaloid. At present 
there is no effort in the native home of Coca toward the pro- 
duction of alkaloid in the leaf through any artificial means. 
Regarding the quality of alkaloid that has been found in the 
different plants, the Peruvian variety has been found to con- 
tain equal proportions of crystallizable and uncrystallizable 



TYPE OF BOLIVIAN COCA. [Conservatory of Marlani.] 


alkaloid, while the Bolivian variety contains alkaloids the 
greater amount of which are crystallizable cocaine. Plants 
which are grown in conservatory, even with the greatest care, 
yield but a small percentage of alkaloid, of which, however, 
the uncrystallizable alkaloid seems more constant while the 
relative amount of cocaine is diminished. In leaves grown 
at Kew .44 per cent, of alkaloid was obtained, of wliich .1 per 
cent, was crystallizable. From experiments of Mr. G. Peppe, 
of Renchi, Bengal, upon leaves obtained from plants im- 
ported from Paris, it was found that leaves dried in the sun 
yielded .53 per cent, of alkaloid, of which .23 per cent, was 
uncrystallizable. The same leaves dried in the shade on cloth 
for twenty hours, then rolled by hand, after the manner in 
which Chinese tea is treated, then cured for two and a half 
hours and dried over a charcoal fire and packed in close tins, 
yielded .58 per cent, of alkaloid, of which .17 per cent, was 

It is probable that each variety of Coca has a particular 
range of altitude at which it may be best cultivated. The 
Bolivian variety is grown at a higher altitude than Peruvian 
Coca, while the Novo Granatense variety has even been 
found to thrive at the level of the sea. Among Coca, as 
among the cinchona, certain varieties yield a large propor- 
tion of total alkaloids, of which only a small amount is crys- 
tallizable. The Cinchona succirubra yields a large amount 
of mixed alkaloids, but a small amount of quinine, while 
Cinchona Calisaya yields a smaller amount of mixed alka- 
loids and a large amount of crystallizable quinine. A few 
authors who have referred to the alkaloidal yield of Coca 
leaves have casually remarked that the plants grown in the 
shade produce an increased amount above those grown in the 
sun, which would appear to be paralleled by the formation of 
chlorophyl and the production of proteids, both of which 
have so important a bearing upon the metabolism of the plant 
and the final nitrogenous excretion. 

This subject is one full of interest, yet so intricate that it 
has not been possible for me to elaborate the suggestions here 
set forth in time to embody my investigation in the present 



writing, though I hope to present the result of my research 
at no very distant date. It would seem that sufficient 
has been shown, however, to indicate the possibility of modi- 
fying plant metabolism under appropriate conditions" of cul- 
ture so as to influence the development of the alkaloidal ex- 
creta. The comparisons between plant and animal life may 
have proved of sufficient interest to enlist attention to the 
higher physiology in which will be traced the action of Coca. 



* * "Leaves of wond'rous nourishment, 
Whose Juice Succ'd in, and to the Stomach tak'n 
Long Hunger and long Labour can sustain; 
From which our faint and weary Bodies find 
More Succor, more they cheer the drooping Mind, 
Than can your Bacchus and your Ceres join'd." 


HEEE has been no period since the 
command was given Adam in the 
Garden of Eden, when physical exertion 
was not essential to existence. The an- 
cient philosophers instilled the doctrine 
that a sound mind is only possible in a 
sound body, and so Homer pictured the 
dejection of Achilles as eating his own heart in 
idleness because he might not fight. Idleness 
has ever been so recognized as a common pre- 
cursor of discontent and melancholia, that when the children 
of Israel murmured against Pharaoh their tasks were wisely 
doubled to prevent retrospection. Occupation is not only es- 
sential to prosperity, but is morally and physically conducive 
to health and longevity and a rest is best attained not by total 
cessation, but by a change of employment. I believe it was 
Hammond who advised a wealthy neurasthenic to collect used 



corks, with the result that the patient became so interested in 
this unique occupation that his brooding was soon forgotten, 
while he became an expert in old stoppers. 

With a popular regard for the benefits of appropriate ex- 
ercise, the matter of athletics has been greatly overdone, and 
has often resulted in injury instead of the anticipated good. 
The early Greeks, who elaborated every form of gymnastics, 
only undertook the severe strain incidental to their games 
after a suitable preparatory period. They were encouraged 
to these performances which were instituted in honor of the 
gods or deified heroes through the idea that they were sacred, 
and in fulfillment of this the exercises always began with a 
sacrifice, and concluded in the same religious manner. In 
the period of Caesar, a victory in the Olympic games was con- 
sidered such a triumph that honors were not only extended to 
the victor, but to his relatives and even to his place of birth. 
There was, however, no impromptu emulation permitted in 
these contests, but those who desired to compete were obliged* 
to submit themselves for preparatory practice at least ten 
months before the exercises began. 

"Wherever there is an incentive for supremacy, there is a 
possibility of overstrain, and Hippocrates cautioned the ath- 
letse against the possible error of immoderate exercise. Galen 
foreshadowed the modern wear and tear theorists when he 
asserted : "much exercise and weariness consumes the spir- 
its and substances." Sustained and straining effort in any 
direction, whether it be mental or physical, cannot be con- 
tinued without a following train of troubles. When any 
function of the body is put in action there is a chemical change 
within the tissues which gives rise to the energy set free, 
and before new power may be had the substance which affords 
this energy must be rebuilt. While this is true of all the 
tissues of the body, owing to the greater bulk of the muscular 
system the changes are apparently more active in this organ- 
ism. Tire is recognized more speedily, while incessant activ- 
ity often prevents an adequate opportunity for repair. 

We have seen that the Incas, during the period when 
their young men were preparing for knighthood, devoted the 



greatest attention to athletic training. It was only when 
the young nobles had proved themselves worthy, by appro- 


priate exhibition of their powers of endurance, that they were 
presented with the chuspa in which to carry the Coca leaves, 


and the poporo to contain the lime to be employed in prepar- 
ing the Coca for mastication. These decorations were there- 
after worn through life as emblems of ennoblement, and 
buried with the mummied body, the Coca affording support on 
the journey to the unknown. The ancient philosophers 
were quite as ignorant of the exact changes which induced 
the transformation of energy displayed in muscular activity 
as were the Incas, or as are the modern Andeans regarding 
the true workings of Coca in its yield of force. 

The muscular system comprises two varieties of muscles. 
One of these acts under mental influence, while the other 
acts independent of the will, while the heart which is es- 
sentially a muscle partakes of qualities in both of these va- 
rieties. The voluntary muscles are chiefly attached to the 
bony framework, and are concerned in bodily movements, 
while the involuntary muscles enter into the formation of the 
blood vessels, the lymphatics and the walls of various struc- 
tures, as the air passages, the alimentary canal and other im- 
portant organs, as well as forming parts of the skin and mu- 
cous membranes. 

The framework muscles are supported by thin sheaths of 
tissue, which in their interior divide by numerous ramifica- 
tions and separate the contained muscular substance into bun- 
dles. These are still further divided into little fibres, each 
ultimate fibre being enveloped with a close network of minute 
blood vessels. These vessels afford an ample means for bring- 
ing nutriment to the muscle substance, as well as for carrying 
away the waste products which are constantly being formed, 
even in the state commonly regarded as absolute rest. The 
importance of this hurrying stream of nutriment, and waste 
elimination to the muscular organism, may be inferred from 
the estimate that one-fourth of the entire blood of the body is 
contained in the muscles. 

When the little muscle fibres are examined under the mic- 
roscope, they are seen to be made up of alternating lines which 
appear as light and dark striations. The darker of these lines, 
when viewed in transverse section, is found composed of little 
polygonal compartments. Within these divisions is contained 


a semi-fluid material which has been demonstrated to be the 
contractile element of the muscle substance. 

The ancients presumed the muscles acted by some pulling 
influence exerted through the nerves. Harmonious nerve 
action is essential to every movement, yet muscle substance 
has been shown to have an inherent property of contractility 
quite independent of nerve influence. The chief nerves con- 
trolling the movements of the muscular system have their or- 
igin in the brain and spinal cord. These each consist of fibres 
conveying sensation and fibres which control motion. These 
latter end in expansions on the surface of the muscle in inti- 
mate contact with the contractile element, the function of 
which it regulates through the reflex influence of the sensory 
nerves. In other words a stimulation of the sensory nerves 
excites the motor nerves to cause muscular activity. 

Each fibre is not continuous through the entire length of 
muscle structure, but the tapering end of one fibre is united 
to the body of its neighbor by a cement-like substance to form 
a bundle which constitutes the muscle proper. These bundles 
taper, or are expanded, as the case may be, to a dense fibrous 
tissue for attachment to different portions of the movable 
framework of the body. When a muscle acts, each of its 
individual fibres shortens through some chemical influence of 
the contractile element. The combined action of the fibres 
exerts a pull toward either end of the muscle, which occasions 
movement of the less fixed portion of the framework to which 
the muscle is attached. 

The involuntary muscles have not definite tendons like 
the voluntary muscles, and their microscopical structure is 
also different, their fibres being smaller and instead of being 
cross-striped they are marked longitudinally. In their ar- 
rangement the fibres are so interlaced that by their contrac- 
tion they lessen the capacity of the vessels or organs in the 
walls of which they are located. 

The property of contraction is inherent in the muscle it- 
self, and continues even after its nerve supply has been cut 
off. For this experiment in the laboratory, curare is em- 
ployed; this paralyzes the nerve filaments deep down in the 




muscle substance yet leaves the muscle intact. Under these 
conditions though contraction will not be produced when the 
nerve is stimulated, movement will follow when stimulus is 
directly applied to the muscle substance. It is presumed that 
this inherent property is generated by some substance brought 
in the blood, which induces a chemical change in the contrac- 
tile element and liberates the energy displayed as muscular 
movement. This change is influenced by temperature, and 
by the presence or absence of waste material in the muscle 
structure or in the circulation. Whatever this explosive sub- 
stance may be, it is presumed to be built up in the muscle 
structure from some carbohydrate material possibly glyco- 
gen under the influence of a nitrogenous substance. For, 
as Foster has said: "The whole secret of life may almost 
be said to be wrapped up in the occult properties of certain 
nitrogen compounds." 1 Hermann named this hypothetical 
substance inogen. 2 During a muscle contraction it is inferred 
this carbohydrate splits into carbonic acid, sarcolactic acid 
and some nitrogenous material which may be myosin or a sub- 
stance akin to it, the acids being carried off in the blood 
stream, while the proteid substance remains in the muscle to 
be again elaborated into the inogen energy yielding material. 
Helmholtz calculated that in the human body one-fifth the 
energy of the material consumed goes out as work, thus con- 
trasting favorably with the steam engine, in which it hardly 
ever amounts to more than one-tenth. 

According to the theory of Liebig the nitrogenous food is 
utilized in the building up of proteid tissues, and the non- 
nitrogenous food is exclusively devoted to heat producing 
purposes, being directly oxidized in the blood, while its ex- 
cess is stored as fat. Tn accordance with this theory, muscu- 
lar exercise increases the waste of muscle substance, while the 
wear and tear is estimated by the amount of urea excreted. 
Originally this idea was generally accepted, but was attacked 
from many sources when it was found that facts of subsequent 
research did not coincide. Troube suggested in opposition 
that muscle and nerve tissue is not destroyed by exercise, but 

1 Poster; p. 474; 1880, a Hermann; 1878. See also Journal of Physiology, I, p. 
196, 1878. 


that force is contributed to these tissues through the oxidation 
of non-nitrogenous substances of which the muscle and nerve 
were simply mediums of expression. 

Following the idea of Liebig, that work results in wear and 
tear of the tissues, there should be an increased output of 
nitrogen during exertion, but many observers in trying to 
harmonize results with this view have found little increase of 
urea which practically represents all the nitrogen passed 
out of the body while a decided increase of urea is found 
from the consumption of nitrogenous foods. Among the 
more noted experiments which controverted the theory that 
the nitrogenous waste represented the relative expenditure 
of energy is that of Dr. Fick, Professor of Physiology, and 
Dr. Wislicenus, Professor of Chemistry, both of the Univer- 
sity of Zurich. 3 They ascended the Faulhorn, two thousand 
metres high (6,561 feet) for the purpose of determining the 
resultant wear and tear upon the nitrogenous tissues from a 
known amount of exercise. To accurately determine this, 
they limited their diet to non-nitrogenous materials, taking 
starch, fat and a little sugar, with beer, wine and tea as bev- 
erages. For seventeen hours before the ascent they limited 
themselves to non-nitrogenous food, .and their first examina- 
tions were made eleven hours before their start. The ascent 
was completed in eight hours, and after a rest of six hours they 
ate an ordinary meal, which included meat. The urine se- 
creted was examined to estimate the nitrogen excreted for each 
hour's work, which showed the following results : 

Nitrogen excreted per hour. 
[Estimated in grammes.] 

Before work 






After work. . 



Nieht. . 

. 0.45 


This indicates that the amount of nitrogen excreted was 
in relation to the food eaten and not to the work done, less 

8 Pick and Wislicenus; 1866. 


relative nitrogen being passed in the "work" and "after work" 
periods when on a non-nitrogenous diet than during the period 
when nitrogenous food was eaten. The calculations were 
based on the amount of work which the oxidation of muscular 
substance containing fifteen per cent, of nitrogen would 
produce as determined from the excreted urea. The result 
showed this inadequate to have enabled the experimenters to 
perform the task which they did, Fick's work exceeding the 
theoretical amount by one-half, while that done by Wislicenus 
was in excess by more than three-fourths the theoretical 
amount, without in either case considering the necessary work 
of the various vital processes. These facts led many experi- 
menters to further investigation, and resulted in a decided 
reaction from Liebig's rigid theory, which had been accepted 
more literally than that physiologist intended. Instead of 
regarding the decomposition of proteids as the sole source of 
muscular energy, the carbohydrates \vere now looked upon as 
a formative element for generating force, because during mus- 
cular activity the glycogen stored in muscle disappears, to 
accumulate again during rest. 

Pfliiger, one of the most eminent of modern physiologists, 
in attempting to harmonize the theory of Liebig, experi- 
mented with a dog, which he kept upon an exclusive meat 
diet free from fat, and made him perform hard labor several 
times a day for weeks, during which the animal showed: 
"Very extraordinary strength and elasticity in all his move- 
ments." 4 In this experiment he wished to show that all the 
energy produced during hard work was from the transforma- 
tion of proteid. To further show whether proteid simply was 
compensatory, he gave a mixed diet, and this led him to the 
conclusion that in a diet composed of proteid, carbohydrates 
and fats the quantity of the two latter substances destroyed 
in metabolism depends wholly upon the fact whether much 
or little proteid be fed. His conclusions are that: "In gen- 
eral the quantity of carbohydrates and fat that undergoes de- 
struction is smaller the greater the income of proteid." 5 This 
may be regarded as the accepted view of modern physiologists 

1 Pfliiger; L, p. 98; 1891. s ldem; LII; 1892; quoted by Verworn; 1899. 


with this qualification, that proteids must be built up from 
carbohydrates under a nitrogenous stimulus, just as we have 
seen is the process in plant structure. 

It has already been pointed out that the nitrogenous Coca 
has a direct bearing upon the structure of tissue through a 
possible quality of elaborating the carbohydrates of the proto- 
plasm into proteids. Since the muscles form the largest bulk 
of tissues in the body in which chemical changes are con- 
stantly going on, it may be inferred how important is this 
upbuilding of the complex substance by which muscle activity 
is produced. The action of Coca on yeast as well as penicil- 
lium and other low organisms indicates its peculiar activity 
upon protoplasm. The experiments of Huxley and Martin 6 
long since showed that penicillium can build itself up out of 
ammonium tartrate and inorganic salts, and can by a decom- 
position of itself give rise to fats and other bodies, and we 
have every reason, says Foster, to suppose this constructive 
power belongs naturally to all native protoplasm wherever 
found. At the same time we see, even in the case of peni- 
cillium, it is of advantage to offer to the protoplasm as food, 
substances which are on their way to become protoplasm, 
which thus saves the organism much constructive labor. "It 
is not unreasonable, even if opposed to established ideas, to 
suppose that the animal protoplasm is as constructive as the 
vegetable protoplasm, the difference between the two being 
that the former, unlike the latter, is as destructive as it is con- 
structive, and therefore requires to be continually fed with 
ready constructed material." 7 

In further support of the influence of Coca upon the for- 
mation of proteid it may be again emphasized that the nitro- 
gen found in the urea is not a measure of the proteid trans- 
formation of the body. This conclusion would be justified 
if it were known that all nitrogenous cleavage products of the 
proteid molecule without exception leave the body. But 
there is no ground for such belief. On the contrary, there is 
no fact known to contradict the idea that nitrogenous cleavage 
products of the proteid molecule can rebuild themselves syn- 

8 Elementary Biology; Lesson V. 'Foster; p. 441; 1880. * 




thetically again into proteid with the aid of new non-nitrogen- 
ous groups of atoms. This latter possibility has been over- 
looked, and in consequence views have arisen, especially in 
relation to muscle metabolism, which though bearing the 
stamp of improbability have been accepted and handed down, 
but which recently have been criticised by Pfliiger. 8 

Just where urea is manufactured in the organism is not 
definitely known. It is presumed that kreatin, xanthin and 
other nitrogenous extractives which are found in the circula- 
tion resulting from tissue activity may be converted either by 
the blood or by the epithelium of the kidneys, and discharged 
as urea. In certain kidney diseases it is known that these 
waste products are retained in the circulation, with consequent 
symptoms of poisoning. In addition to this it has been found 
that an increase of nitrogenous food rapidly augments this 
excretion, the products of intestinal digestion, the leucin and 
lyrosin, being carried to the liver and converted by the liver 
cells to urea, and this organ is considered at least the chief 
organ of urea formation. 

It has been found that in functional derangements of the 
liver, when the normal urea formation is interfered with, 
there is imperfect oxidation of the products which should be 
eliminated as urea, and a deposit of lithates occurs in the 
urine as a signal of imperfect oxidation. This also may fol- 
low excessive exercise. In serious orgairic diseases the urea 
excretion may cease entirely, being replaced by the less oxi- 
dized leucin and ty rosin. M. Genevoix, from observations of 
his own and those of Charcot, Bouchardat and others, con- 
cludes that disorders of the liver which do not seriously im- 
plicate the secreting structure of that tissue increase the 
amount of urea excreted, while graver disorders diminish it 
very considerably. A Belgian physician, Doctor Rommel- 
aere, maintains that diagnosis of cancer of the stomach may 
be made when the urea excretion falls and continues below ten 
grammes a day for several consecutive days. 10 

The average excretion of urea is sixteen grains an hour, 11 
the excretion fluctuating between thirteen and twenty-five 

8 Pfliiger; L, p. 98; 1891; Verworn; p. 175: 1899. "Murchison; p. 598; 1885. 
1(1 Dujardin-Beaumetz; p. 233; 1886. n Ha'g; 1897. 


grains, being greater soon after eating, and much less during 
the early morning hours. Uric acid, which is probably a less 
advanced form of oxidation, being present in the relation to 
urea as one to thirty-five, its relation to body weight being 
three and a half grains per pound; thus when urea excretion 
equals thirty-five grains for each ten pounds of body weight, 
there is commonly present one grain of uric acid. The 
effect of these waste products in the tissues is to so impede 
the functions of the cells as to occasion symptoms of depres- 
sion and fatigue, whether this be manifested by irritability, 
drowsiness or profound muscular tire. There is a loading up 
not necessarily within the cells of the tissues, but in the 
blood stream which supplies these of excreta which vitiates 
the proper pabulum of the protoplasm, and a period of rest is 
absolutely necessary to enable the tissues to get rid of this 
matter before a healthful condition may be resumed. 

All the symptoms of fatigue are due to the effort of the 
tissues at repair. There is an increase of respiration to bring 
the necessary increase of oxygen demanded, and accompany- 
ing this respiratory effort there is a frequency of the heart 
beat, while the body becomes cool because its heat is lessened 
through the evaporation of perspiration. In protracted fa- 
tigue there may be a rise of temperature due to irritation by 
the increased force of the blood stream, occasioning sleepless- 
ness, while the digestive functions are interfered with be- 
cause of the excessive demands of other organs on the blood 

In over exertion, where there is actual loss of proteid tis- 
sue, the effects of prostration and tire may not be experienced 
immediately, but only after several days. Similar symptoms 
to these accompany the infectious diseases when the blood is 
loaded with the products formed by invading bacteria. Again 
they are manifest when the organism is poisoned through 
toxic products of indigestion. These may be simply the prod- 
ucts of proteid decomposition leucomaines as they are 
termed, or they may be ptomaines produced by the activity of 
certain micro-organisms which affect the body through the 
toxic principles which they elaborate. Some of these are ex- 


cessively poisonous in minute doses, and are chiefly developed 
in such articles of food as milk, ice cream, cheese, sausage and 
canned fish. It has been inferred that the muscles may also 
produce toxines which by their presence give rise to poisonous 
symptoms. 12 

From whatever source they may have been derived, waste 
products in the blood impede the action of all the tissues of the 
body. This influence is well shown in the laboratory upon a 
prepared muscle, the contractions being recorded by a series 
of curves upon a suitable machine. Following stimulation 
there is a short interval known as the latent period, and then 
contraction is indicated by a rising curve commencing rapidly 
and proceeding more slowly to a maximum height, and as the 
muscle returns to its normal condition there is a descending 
curve, at first sudden and then more gradual. After re- 
peated shocks of stimulation these curves become less marked, 
until the contractions record almost a continuous line a con- 
dition which is termed muscular tetanus. 

Such tired muscle has a longer latent period than a fresh 
one, and a stronger stimulation is necessary to produce con- 
tractions equal to those at the beginning of experimentation. 
Bernard experimented with blue bottle flies musca vomi- 
toria, and found that the muscle of fatigued flies compared 
with that of flies at rest showed microscopical distinction, the 
contractile disks of the tired muscle being almost obliterated, 
while the capacity of such a muscle for taking a stain for 
microscopic examination evidenced an important difference 
over that of normal muscle, the whole contents of the seg- 
ments staining uniformly, indicating that extraordinary exer- 
tion had used up the muscular substance more rapidly than it 
was repaired. 

Ranke found that by washing out a fatigued muscle with 
common salt solution, though it added no new factor of en- 
ergy, it freed the tissue from poisonous excreta and enabled 
it to again perform work. To confirm this a watery extract 
of fatigued muscle, when injected into fresh muscle, occa- 
sioned it to lose its working capacity. 13 Mosso has also shown 

12 Verworn; p. 468; 1899. "Ranke; 1865. 


by experiments on the dog the presence of these fatigue sub- 
stances. When the blood of a tired dog was injected into a 
dog which had been at rest all the phenomena of fatigue were 
manifest, but when the blood injected was from a normally 
resting dog no such symptoms were induced. 14 This physiol- 
ogist has shown that in man small doses of cocaine remove 
the fatigue sense and raise muscular ability above normal.* 

Dr. Alexander Haig, of London, attributes all the symp- 
toms of depression and fatigue as due to the presence of uric 
acid in the blood, which he regards as the particular poison 
of the excreta. Uric acid, he claims, obstructs the capillaries 
throughout the entire body, the consequent deficient circula- 
tion preventing a proper metabolism by retarding the removal 
of waste products. 

The relative excretion of w r aste is influenced not only by 
the routine of living, but by changes in the weather, tire 
being more easily produced in warm than in cold weather 
because of the increased elimination of acids by perspiration 
raising the alkalinity of the blood and permitting the passage 
of an excess of uric acid from the tissues into the blood. With 
this excess there is a diminished excretion of urea accompanied 
by the symptoms of fatigue. Exercise when excessive in- 
creases the formation of urea, which may at first be carried 
off in a free blood stream, but when the flow in the capillaries 
is diminished through the presence of uric acid in excess, the 
urea excretion is retarded and fatigue is manifest. 

Cocaine, it is found, will free the blood of uric acid and 
abolish all the symptoms of fatigue both of mind and body, 
doing this by raising the acidity of the blood and so directly 
counteracting the effect of exercise by preventing the blood 
becoming a solvent for uric acid. 15 The effect of the pure 
blood is to produce a free circulation with increased meta- 
bolism in the muscles and nerve centres. When the blood is 
loaded with excreta the circulation is retarded and there is 
high blood pressure, which may ultimately result in dilatation 
of the heart. 16 

The long train of troubles which may follow retention of 

14 Mosso; 1891. * Idem; 1890. Haig; p. 269; 1897. I0 Broadbent; p. 168. 


waste have been found to be worse during the morning hours 
when the acid tide of the urine is lowest. These conditions 
are all relieved under the influence of Coca, a knowledge of 
which has been gleaned from its empirical use. As an in- 
stance of this, a lady suffering from a severe influenza accom- 
panied with rheumatism, was induced to try a grog of Vin 
Mariani as advocated by Dr. Cyrus Edson in the treatment 
of La Grippe, 17 and much to her surprise found that she was 
not only cured of her cold, but entirely relieved from the 
symptoms of her rheumatism as well, despite a preformed 
prejudice against Coca in any form. Acting upon this sug- 
gestive hint, I have found that alternate doses of Coca and the 
salicylates constitute an admirable treatment for rheumatism. 

The influence of Coca in banishing the effects of extreme 
fatigue is well illustrated in an account of its use communi- 
cated to me by Dr. Frank L. James, Editor of the National 
Druggist, St. Louis. While a student at Munich Jie experi- 
mented with the use of Coca upon himself at the request of 
Professor Liebig, whose pupil he was. On one occasion, 
when exceedingly tired both physically and mentally, he was 
induced to try chewing Coca after the proper Peruvian fash- 
ion with a little llipta. Before commencing this experiment 
he was hungry, but too tired to eat and too hungry to sleep. 
In a few moments after beginning to chew hunger gave place 
to a sense of warmth in the stomach, while all physical weari- 
ness disappeared, though mentally the was still somewhat 
tired and disinclined to read or study, though this condition 
soon passed away, giving rise to an absolute eagerness to be 
at some sort of exercise. These sensations lasted altogether 
for probably three hours, gradually passing off after the first 
hour, leaving the subject none the worse for his experience 
and able to eat a hearty dinner the same evening. 

Some years afterward, while practicing in the South, this 
gentleman returned from a thirty-six hours' ride so tired as 
to necessitate being helped off the horse and up-stairs to his 
room. While preparing for bed his eyes fell upon a package 
of Coca leaves which he had recently received by way of San 

"Edson; p. 39; 1891. 


Francisco, and the idea immediately occurred to him to re- 
peat the experiment of his student days. In the course of a 
quarter of an hour following the chewing of probably a 
drachm of Coca leaves he felt so refreshed and recuperated 
that he was able to go out and visit patients about the town 
to whom he had previously sent word that he was too tired to 
call on them that night. In describing the result, Dr. James 
said : "I was not very hungry at the time before taking the 
Coca, but all sense of the necessity or of a desire for food 
vanished with the weariness." 18 

Professor Xovy, of the University of Michigan, is re- 
ferred to by one of his former classmates as having formed 
one of a group of experimenters upon the use of Coca leaves. 
The influence being tested during a walk of twenty-four miles, 
taken one afternoon without any other nourishment but water 
and Coca. Over four miles an hour was averaged, and al- 
though unaccustomed to such long walks or vigorous exer- 
cise, no special muscular fatigue was experienced by four of 
the party who chewed the leaves almost constantly during 
the journey. Xo change was noted in the urine and no de- 
pression was experienced the next day. One who did not 
chew Coca, but was addicted to alcohol and chewed tobacco 
constantly, was somewhat more fatigued than the others, and 
suffered considerably from soreness of the muscles on the fol- 
lowing day. 19 

The experience of Sir Robert Christison, of Edinburgh, 
with the use of Coca upon himself and several of his students, 
is full of interest because of his extended experiments and 
the high rank of the investigator. Two of his students, un- 
accustomed to exercise during five months, walked some six- 
teen miles without having eaten any food since breakfast. On 
their return they each took two drachms of Coca made into 
an infusion, to which was added five grains of carbonate of 
soda, in imitation of the Peruvian method of adding an alkali. 
All sense of hunger and fatigue soon left, and after an hour's 
walk they returned to enjoy an excellent dinner, after which 
they felt alert during the evening, and their night's sleep was 

18 Collective Investigation, (924); 1898. "Idem; (586); 1898. 




sound and refreshing. One of these students felt a slight 
sensation of giddiness after drinking the infusion, but the 
other experienced no unpleasant symptoms. Ten students, 
under similar conditions, walked varying distances, from 
twenty to thirty miles, over a hilly road. Two of these were 
unable to remark any effects from the use of Coca, several 
felt decided relief from fatigue, while four experienced com- 
plete relief, and one of these had walked thirty miles without 
any food. Professor Christison, though seventy-eight years 
of age and unaccustomed to vigorous exercise, subsequently 
experimented on himself by chewing Coca leaves^ with and 
without llipta, some of which had been forwarded to him 
from Peru. He first determined the effect of profound fa- 
tigue by walking fifteen miles on two occasions without tak- 
ing food or drink. On his return his pulse, which was nor- 
mally sixty-two at rest, was one hundred and ten on his arri- 
val home, and two hours later was ninety. He was unfit for 
mental work in the evening, though he slept soundly all night, 
but the next morning was not inclined for active exercise. 
Then, under similar conditions, he walked sixteen miles, in 
three stages of four, six, and six miles, with one interval of 
half an hour, and two intervals of an hour and a half. Dur- 
ing the last forty-five minutes of his second rest he chewed 
eighty grains of Coca, reserving forty grains for use during 
the last stage, even swallowing some of the fibre. He felt 
sufficiently tired to look forward to the end of his journey 
with reluctance, and did not observe any particular effect 
from the Coca until he got out of doors and put on his usual 
pace, of which he said : "At once I was surprised to find that 
all sense of weariness had entirely fled and that I could pro- 
ceed not only with ease, but even with elasticity. I got over 
the six miles in an hour and a half without difficulty, and 
found it easy when done to get up a four and a half mile pace 
and to ascend quickly two steps at a time to my dressing room, 
two floors up-stairs ; in short, I had no sense of fatigue or any 
other uneasiness whatsoever." 

During this walk he perspired profusely. On reaching 
home his pulse was ninety, and in two hours it had fallen to 


seventy-two, showing that the heart and circulation had been 
strengthened under the influence of Coca. The urine solids 
were the same as during the walk without Coca. In describ- 
ing this walk, he said : "On arrival home before dinner, I 
felt neither hunger nor thirst, after complete abstinence from 
food and drink of every kind for nine hours, but upon dinner 
appearing in half an hour, ample justice was done to it." 
After a sound sleep through the night he woke refreshed and 
free from all sense of fatigue. An influence of Coca not an- 
ticipated was the relief of a tenderness of his eyes, which 
during some years had rendered continuous reading a pain- 
ful effort. In another trial at mountain climbing, he ascend- 
ed Ben Vorlich, on Loch Earn, 3,224 feet above the sea. The 
climb was along a rugged foot path, then through a short 
heather and deep grass, and the final dome of seven hundred 
feet rise was among blocks and slabs of mica-slate. The 
ascent was made in two and a half hours, the last three hun- 
dred feet requiring considerable determination. 

His companions enjoyed a luncheon, but Sir Robert con- 
tented himself chewing two-thirds of a .drachm of Coca, and 
after a rest of three-quarters of an hour was ready for the 
descent. Although this was looked forward to with no little 
distrust, he found upon rising that all fatigue was gone, and 
he journeyed with the same ease with which he had enjoyed 
mountain rambles in his youth. The experimenter was nei- 
ther weary, hungry nor thirsty, and felt as though he could 
easily have walked four miles to his home. After a hearty 
dinner, followed by a busy evening, he slept soundly during 
the night and woke refreshed in the morning, ready for an- 
other day's exercise. During the trip he took neither food 
nor drink of any kind except chewing sixty grains of Coca 
leaves. Eight days after this experiment was repeated, using 
ninety grains of Coca. The weather had changed and the 
temperature was forty-four degrees at the top of the moun- 
tain and a chilly breeze provoked the desire to descend. While 
resting sixty grains of Coca was chewed. The descent was 
made without halt in an hour and a quarter, and followed by 
a walk of two miles over a level road to meet his carriage. He 


then felt slightly tired, because three hours had elapsed since 
he had chewed Coca. 

In summing up his experience Professor Christison says: 
"I feel that without details the general results which may now 
be summarized would scarcely carry conviction with them. 
They are the following: The chewing of Coca not only re- 
moves extreme fatigue, but prevents it. Hunger and thirst 
are suspended, but eventually appetite and digestion are un- 
affected. No injury whatever is sustained at the time or sub- 
sequently in occasional trials." From sixty to ninety grains 
are sufficient for one trial, but some persons either require 
more or are constitutionally proof against the restorative ac- 
tion of Coca. From his observations there was no effect on 
the mental faculties except to prevent the dullness and drow- 
siness which follow great bodily fatigue. 20 

It is a matter of much interest to determine just what food 
is appropriate to generate muscle or to stimulate the tissues for 
work. As the capacity of an organ is in proportion to its bulk 
under proper conditions it seems essential that proteids 
should be eaten in order to create the muscle substances of 
which they form so great a part; but as has been repeatedly 
indicated, no one variety of food makes that same variety of 
tissue. All conversion in the body is due to a chemical change 
within the cell of the tissue; the food taken in is broken down 
by the digestive processes, and after assimilation is doled out 
according to the particular requirements of the individual 
parts of a normal organism. 

The muscles are not set at work from the immediate in- 
take of food, but are rendered capable for action by a chemical 
conversion of the material already stored up in the tissues, 
which is elaborated into energy as it may be required. It 
would seem as though this fact had not been carefully consid- 
ered when calculating the effect of any diet upon muscular 
exertion during a brief period. The capacity of the body for 
work is due to the integrity of its tissue and the ability to draw 
suitable supplies from these stored substances. It is the ap- 

20 Christison; April 13, 1876; also Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions 
(3); Vol. VI, p. 884. 




propriate conversion of this stored-up material which consti- 
tutes energy in a capable being father than a mere autom- 
atism. Without this power of conversion the human organ- 
ism would simply be clogged up by an accumulation of fuel 
which would impede rather than create activity. The 
body should not be regarded as a machine constituted with 
certain working parts which are gradually worn out through 
the so often expressed "wear and tear." The facts long 
since have proved that life is a succession of deaths. The 
highest type of physical life is that which is capable of 
the greatest activity, creating useful energy and properly 
eliminating the waste matters resulting from the chemical 
changes from this conversion. Indeed, one of the gravest 
problems in the maintenance of a healthful activity is 
the one of excretion. To the retention of waste products in 
the blood or tissues a whole train of ills, both physical and 
mental, is unquestionably due, whether this poison be uric 
acid or not. 

Preoccupied humanity seems constantly seeking some 
medicinal measure toward buoyancy and vigor rather than re- 
garding the rational effects of appropriate eating and proper 
exercise. The success of many patent nostrums is chiefly 
based upon the fact of the necessity for elimination, and a 
good diuretic or laxative disguised as a panacea for all ills 
often produces the required result. As to the proper food 
essential to promote the greatest energy there have been many 
conflicting conclusions drawn from the known physiological 
facts. On the one side it has been asserted that all 
energy is induced from nitrogenous substances, while on 
the other side equally competent observers have asserted 
that the non-nitrogenous substances are alone used ; yet 
all the evidence points to the fact that the constructive meta- 
bolism in animals is paralleled by similar processes in 
plant life, in which it has been shown that carbohydrates 
are built up into proteids, while these latter are also 
broken down into carbohydrates, and each of these may be 
converted again and again under the appropriate stimulus of 
the other substance. We know that starch, which is the rep- 


resentative of the carbohydrate class, is converted into glucose 
and carried to the liver to be stored up as the animal starch 
glycogen and as the various tissues of the body are called 
into activity this stored-up material is hurried to them in a 
soluble form to be utilized by the cell in the production of 
energy. When meat is eaten which is the representative 
type of the nitrogenous class its proteid material is changed 
into a soluble peptone, and this, carried to the liver, is con- 
verted into glycogen, which indicates, as has been proven by 
experiment, that either class of food substance is capable of 
maintaining the functions of the body so long as the chemical 
elements comprising the food taken be appropriate. While the 
meat eater and the vegetarian are each right, they are equally 
both wrong when advocating an exclusiveness in either diet- 
ary. The fact is, as will be shown in the chapter upon diet- 
etics, it is purely an individual matter as to what particular 
food may be best. It all depends upon the body, or the ma- 
chine as you will as to what substance each particular or- 
ganism shall have the privilege of converting into energy. 

While the body may be supported on either class of food- 
stuffs for a time, a man would surely starve as quick on a 
purely nitrogenous dietary as he would upon one purely non- 
nitrogenous. It will be recalled that the experiment of Fick 
and Wislicenus was conducted upon a food, the solid portion 
of which was carbohydrate, but with this tea was drunk as a 
beverage. Tea loaded with xanthin would afford sufficient 
of the nitrogenous element to convert the stored-up carbo- 
hydrates to action, but as Haig and Morton have both shown, 
tea contains so much of an equivalent to uric acid that it could 
not long be relied upon as an energy exciter, for while the 
tissue might be stimulated for a time, waste matter would 
soon be augmented in the blood. Coca, as we have seen, has 
the quality of freeing the blood from waste material, and yet 
possesses sufficient nitrogenous quality to convert the stored- 
up carbohydrates into tissue and energy. The Andeans are a 
race small of stature and of low muscular development. The 
average American or European could easily tire a native In- 
dian in a day's travel, but while the former continuing on an 


ordinary diet would soon become stiff the Indian sustained 
by Coca remains fit and active, and is apparently fresh and 
ready after a hard day's jaunt. It seems probable that this 
condition is occasioned through the converting influence of 
the nitrogenous Coca acting upon the stored-up carbohydrates 
of the Andean's accustomed dietary. Thus while promot- 
ing metabolism and increasing energy the blood current is at 
the same time kept free. 

The custom of the Andean to measure distances by the 
cocada has already been referred to; it is the length of time 
that the influence of a chew of Coca will carry him equal 
to a period of some forty minutes and during which he will 
cover nearly two miles on a level ground or a mile and a quar- 
ter up hill. Taking the suggestion from this a preparation 
of Coca made in Paris known as "Velo-Coca," is purposely 
intended for the use of bicyclists, a given dose of which is 
calculated to sustain the rider through forty kilometres 
twenty-five miles. The advantage of Coca in long distance 
contests has long been known to certain professionals, who 
have endeavored to keep their use of this force sustainer a 
secret. 21 

Some years ago the members of the Toronto La Crosse 
Club experimented with Coca, and during the season when 
that club held the championship of the world Coca was used in 
all its important matches. The Toronto Club was composed of 
men accustomed to sedentary work, while some of the oppos- 
ing players were sturdy men accustomed to out of door exer- 
cise. The games were all very severely contested, and some 
were played in the hottest weather of one summer; on one 
occasion the thermometer registered 110 F. in the sun. The 
more stalwart appearing men, however, were so far used up 
before the match was completed that they could hardly be en- 
couraged to finish the concluding game, "while the Coca 
chewers were as elastic and apparently as free from fatigue as 
at the commencement of the play." At the beginning of the 
game each player was given from one drachm to a drachm and 
a half of leaves, and this amount, without lime or any other 

81 McLaumaille; 1875. 



addition, was chewed in small portions during the game. The 
first influence experienced was a dryness of the throat, which, 
when relieved by gargling with water, was not again noticed, 
while a sense of invigoration and an increase of muscular force 
was soon experienced, and this continued through the game, 
so that fatigue was resisted. The pulse was increased in fre- 
quency and perspiration was excited, but no mental symptoms 
were induced excepting an exhilaration of spirits, which was 
not followed by any after effects. 22 

As has been shown, fatigue and its ills is occasioned by a 
diminution of the elements necessary to activity as well as to 
an excess of waste materials in the blood. This latter cause 
alone explains many problems dependent upon this condition 
which are commonly assigned to other causes. Under this 
hypothesis it is easy to appreciate not only the cause of 
muscle fatigue, but the irritability from nerve tire as well as 
the restlessness in wasting disease. When the tissues are not 
supplied with a blood stream that is pure and uncontaminated 
they cannot respond healthfully. A blood current already 
overburdened with waste can neither stimulate to activity nor 
carry off the burden of excreta. 

The power of Coca to relieve the circulation, and so bring 
about a condition indicating a free blood stream, has been 
emphasized by a host of observers. Speaking of the action of 
but one of its alkaloids, Dr. Haig says: "Some have asserted 
that it is oblivion men seek for when they take opivim, co- 
caine, etc., I believe this to be a great error. Give me an 
eternity of oblivion and I would exchange it for one hour with 
my cerebral circulation quite free from uric acid, and opium 
or cocaine will free it for me. When the blood stream is free 
the pulse tension is reduced, the rate is quickened, and the in- 
creased flow alters the mental condition as if by magic ; ideas 
flash through the brain; everything is remembered." 2 

Hitherto the usual explanation that has been advanced as 
to the influence of Coca when any influence has been ac- 
corded has been its stimulant action upon the nerves. In 
view of the facts set forth in this research such a theory seems 

22 Shuttleworth; 1877. 23 Haig; p. 247, et seq.; 1897. 



inadequate. I have endeavored to show by a succession of 
facts and many examples, that the sustaining influence of 
Coca in fatigue, as well as its curative power in so many dis- 
eased conditions, as to render it a seeming panacea, is largely 
due to a direct action upon the cells of the tissues, as well as 
through the property which Coca has of freeing the blood 
from waste. This influence may chiefly be upon the brain or 
upon the muscular structure, in accordance with the relative 
proportion of the associate principles present in the Coca leaf 
employed. Under this hypothesis, based upon physiological 
research as well as upon the theory of the formation of pro- 
teid in plants and in animals, Coca not only stimulates the 
cells to activity and so sets free energy, but may build up new 
tissue through exciting the protoplasm to appropriate con- 
version. Such an hypothesis is certainly plausible when we 
consider the action of amides and other nitrogenous elements 
in plant structure. This is again emphasized by its harmony 
with recent theories of Pfliiger regarding the building up of 
proteid tissue in the animal organism. So much testimony 
points to this conclusion that in the entire absence of other 
scientific explanation this is certainly worthy of serious con- 
sideration. The facts of which will be more specifically 
elaborated in the chapter on physiology. 



"Man who man would be, 
Must rule the empire of himself, in it 
Must be supreme, establishing his throne 
On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy 
Of hopes and fears, being himself alone." 

Shelley, Political Greatness. 

may presume an ideal condition of 
health, but there is no practical 
standard by which this can be 
gauged. Each individual organism 
presents a maximum and minimum 
range of vigor, between which the 
true balance must lie for that one 
being. The powers of the aboriginal 
Indian, while of a different quality, 
were not necessarily of a higher type than are those of the 
nervous worker of to-day, nor was the life of the former 
necessarily more natural because more active. We are crea- 
tures of the circumstances and environments in which cast. 
Each condition must be compared with its class. The pos- 
sibilities of combating severe disease are vastly superior 
under the results of modern civilization. Man in every age 
must maintain a balance amidst the peculiar environment to 
which he is subjected, and the result of progress is to develop 
hygienic resources as well as keener susceptibilities. 



The functions of the body are governed through the action 
of the nervous system involuntarily, whether the subject be 
asleep or awake, in sickness or in health. This action, how- 
ever, may be influenced by the will either to depress or excite 
individual functions, so that their action may be modified or 
even perverted to a condition of disease. Dr. John Hunter, 
who was a victim to his own emotions, emphasized this when 
he wrote : "Every part of the body sympathizes with the mind, 
for whatever affects the mind, the body is affected in pro- 
portion." 1 

Among the annoyances incidental to a modern civilization 
are those troubles produced from a possible nervous perver- 
sion, engendered through overtaxing the powers mentally or 
physically in the modern whirl and bustle of a busy life. We 
all realize the effects of muscular fatigue, but few seem to ap- 
preciate the extreme tire which is possible to the nervous sys- 
tem of the purely sedentary worker. This may manifest it- 
self in the mildest form as a mere irritability or restlessness, 
or more profoundly as peevishness and even despondency. 

It is not as easy to demonstrate nerve tire in the labora- 
tory as it is to show the fatigue of muscle, yet there can be no 
doubt that similar factors are at work to induce either. It is 
known that all the activity of the tissues, of whatever kind, is 
due to a chemical conversion of the substance contained in the 
minute cells which go to complete the organism. Fatigue re- 
sults from the retention of products of waste in the blood 
which normally should be excreted. As a result the tissues 
are not properly nourished by a purified circulation for their 
work, and exhaustion is a consequence, whether the structure 
under this influence be muscle or nerve. 

When we learn that Coca relieves muscular tire, mental 
depression or nervous fatigue, ' that it calms to refreshing 
sleep or stimulates to wakefulness and activity, that it allays 
hunger or induces appetite as the case may be, we can only 
harmonize such seemingly opposite applications through 
appreciating that this influence is extended to the tissues 
through the fluid which supplies them with nourishment. We 

i Hunter; Vol. IV, p. 167; 1839. 


have already seen that the blood is so speedily purified under 
the action of Coca that the circulation may at once return an 
appropriate pabulum to all the cells of the body and so may 
promote in them a normally healthful action. 

The brain may be broadly considered as made up of cells 
and nerve fibres. The outer portion, which is termed the 
cortex, consists of many convolutions which through this ar- 
rangement affords a greater superficial area for the brain 
cells. These cells are located in layers over the surface, as 
well as arranged in groups at the base of the brain and in the 
medulla and spinal cord. The convolutions are merely rudi- 
mentary in animals and are poorly developed in the lower 
orders of the human jace and in the uneducated. By intellec- 
tual development these are increased in a manner quite anal- 
ogous to that in which muscle is increased by exercise. 
Gross bulk of brain substance does not necessarily indicate 
giant intellect, but merely the structure for such possible de- 

The brain practically attains its greatest size in early 
childhood, at least this is the period of its most active increase, 
and remembering the law that the part of the body which is 
subject to the greatest physiological growth is most liable to 
disease, it will keep before us the fact that children are par- 
ticularly susceptible to disorders of the brain and nervous sys- 
tem. In childhood the tendency should be to restrain these 
organs, which are already too alert, from an undue excitement. 

From birth an education of the individual cells of this in- 
tellectual centre should be carefully conducted. A refine- 
ment of nerve tissue progressing by easy gradations until 
strength and power shall be secured. It is through this alone 
that man may be raised superior to the beast or savage. Not 
only present enjoyments but future comforts and realizations 
are so absolutely dependent upon this that even "Spiritual 
life can only reach the human form by and through the brain 
cell." 2 

Quite as important as the brain in maintaining mental 
stability is the action of the sympathetic nerve in controlling 

2 Wilson; 1899. 


physical well being, while both brain and sympathetic nerve 
must act together to sustain the organism in true harmony. 
The sympathetic nerve runs on either side and in front of 
the spinal column as a double chain of little brains. From 
these centers not only the great organs are supplied, but also 
the coats of the blood vessels, through which association a con- 
trolling influence is maintained over the entire organism. 
Along its route these nerves are intimately connected with 
branch nerve fibres from the brain and spinal cord. Through 
groups of fibres sent to the heart, to the stomach and to the 
organs of the pelvis the functions of either one of these may 
be influenced in sympathy from the derangement of some 
other organ far distant, the workings of which are not di- 
rectly associated, but the action of which is affected by a re- 
flection of the troubles elsewhere. This reflex effect between 
distant parts of the body is analogous to the switching on of a 
branch telegraph Joop to the main line to carry news to points 
with which it was not directly connected. 

So intimate is the relation of this regulating nerve with 
the various functions of the body that it is possible for these 
to be seriously interfered with through action of the sympa- 
thetic on the blood vessels, by which the tension of their walls 
is altered and the circulation is accordingly hastened or re- 
tarded. Common examples of this effect are seen when the 
emotions are excited and occasion the capillary vessels to con- 
tract as in pallor, or, when these are suddenly dilated, to cause 
blushing. The idea that the emotions have their seat in the 
heart because of this influence of the blood vessels in occasion- 
ing an irregularity of its action has led to an erroneous and 
sentimental regard for that organ. 

This intricate nervous development suggests the extreme 
importance of a well trained organization as a factor toward 
preventing that broad class of cases which are grouped under 
the generic title of neurasthenia. In this condition rather 
than disease a similar restlessness and over sensitiveness is 
present as in profound fatigue. In chronic illness the same 
symptoms are seen, but when these are complained of without 
any characteristic signs of disease the indications point to 



nerve irritability through imperfect elimination of tissue 
waste. If with this excess of waste materials in the blood 
there be associated a defective will, then the influence on the 
sympathetic nerve must be pronounced. Either cause may 
unbalance the circulation through the arterial system and so 
disarrange various functions of the body, while a low 
power of resistance intensifies the mental disability. It is re- 
markable that these sufferers are at first rarely treated appro- 
priately, but are often impatiently urged to exert will power. 
While it is undoubtedly true, as so aptly phrased by Shake- 
speare : "There is no condition, be it good or ill, but thinking 


makes it so," will power must emanate from a primary store 
of bodily health. 

The greatest factor, however, must be derived through the 
guidance of the emotions, particularly during the formative 
period of development. An early education of the will should 
form a basis for mental control. In this will be found a 
prominent factor in the production of future happiness, as 
well as a means of support in many a physical ailment, and 
even a source of contentment in hopeless disease. But as has 
already been indicated, the greatest benefit, can only result 
from a healthful working of the entire organism. That there 


shall be a sound mind in a sound body is an old adage, and 
recently the great universities have appreciated this suffi- 
ciently to officially recognize physical training as an important 
part of a collegiate education. 

Whether the title neurasthenia be scientifically correct for 
the peculiar train of symptoms which go to make up the com- 
plainings of the victims of over-nervous irritability, it has 
served since the classification of some thirty years ago to en- 
able the acute medical examiner to group the particular suf- 
ferers from this morbid condition. As defined by Dr. Beard, 
neurasthenia is: "A chronic functional disease of the nervous 
system, the basis of which is the impoverishment of nervous 
force ; deficiency of reserve, with liability to quick exhaustion, 
and the necessity for frequent supplies of force. Hence the 
lack of inhibitory or controlling powers, both physical and 
mental, the feebleness and instability of nerve action, and the 
excessive sensitiveness and irritability, local and general, and 
the vast variety of symptoms, direct and reflex." 3 

The condition may be summed up as one of nervelessness, 
or a weakness of irritability akin to the symptoms which in- 
dicate profound tire. A host of modern physiologists regard 
fatigue as due to some poison in the blood. 4 If we accept this 
theory founded upon chemical facts which may be clearly 
demonstrated by experiment, there is ample means for ex- 
plaining the multiplicity of nervous symptoms as resulting 
from this cause alone. Waste matters in the circulation by 
clogging the capillaries prevent the venous blood from being 
appropriately purified. The nerve centers do not receive 
suitable stimulus for repair, and the increased irritability 
occasions an excessive waste which still further impedes the 
circulation. Functional changes must necessarily result in 
the heart, kidneys, liver and the brain from this continued 

The subjective symptoms of neurasthenia are not so much 
engendered by a weakness of the nervous system, nor any lack 
of susceptibility of the nervous protoplasm to respond to irrita- 
tion, as through excessive irritability, which renders the or- 

1 Beard; p. 36; 1886. * Foster; Lancet, Vol. I, p. 1457; 1893. 


ganism over sensitive to normal and healthful stimulus. It is 
a condition which may be allied to the harp, so strung up as 
to permit the slightest breath to set its strings in a discordant 
hum. Often the subjects of this form of trouble are found 
among those who are in the prime of activity, in early adult 
life, when the various forces for the production of energy are 
being vigorously employed. 

As it is that part of the body which is most active at any 
one period of life particularly of grow r th that is most liable 
to disease, so during the different epochs of pubescence, ado- 
lescence, and the early marital life in either sex, the symptoms 
of neurasthenia may be exhibited. These symptoms are par- 
ticularly manifest when there has been at these periods a con- 
dition of overstrain, associated with mal-nutrition. Among 
all possible causes my experience has been that the genetic 
factor, through repeated explosive shocks upon the nervous 
system, is pre-eminent in the production -of neurasthenic 
symptoms in those already overworked or suffering from im- 
perfect nutrition. 

Neurotics are prone to excesses as well as to extremes in 
any particular line. They are the class to which "habits" 
cling and "habit drugs" belong, and the apparent candor of 
their sufferings might often lead the sympathetic, umvary 
listener astray. In such subjects these habits and excesses 
should be regarded rather as symptoms than the underlying 
cause of the condition. If this fact were more generally 
thought upon we should hear less of those who have been 
wrecked by alcohol or opium. Indeed it is a fact that a per- 
fectly healthy man rarely becomes a morphinist, canna- 
bist, etc., but that such individuals are without exception neu- 
ropathic. 5 

The numerous symptoms which go to make up the con- 
dition of nervous prostration have only been made prominent 
through the push for supremacy, and even for maintenance, 
in the various specialisms of life. While the causes always 
have existed, modern civilization has greatly exaggerated 
them, and the present dwellers in cities are consequently emi- 

6 Tuke; Vol. II, p. 849; 1892. 


nently of the nervous type. The sufferers i;re not all from 
one class, but are numbered among the high, the low, the rich 
and the poor, though the symptoms may be varied in accord- 
ance with the cultivation and environment of the patient. 
What the poor Andean Indian, working laboriously for days 
on scanty food, might regard as the ban of some "spirit of the 
mountain" cast upon him for presuming to invade some hal- 
lowed precinct and as a charm against which he chews the 
sacred Coca, the used up subject of protracted social functions 
considers in a different light. But the symptoms and con- 
ditions are similar, whether occasioned from over-indulgence 
and overwork, because of exalted ambition, or from enforced 
labor associated with hygienic errors. 

The title neurasthenia has been made responsible for a 
multitude of evils, quite as bad as has that of "malaria" or 
"biliousness." While the group of subjective symptoms which 
Beard classed under this head has been expanded to embrace 
about every condition generated from nervous irritability, it 
remained for the classic guidance of Charcot to accentuate the 
importance of a certain few symptoms into what he styled 
"the stigma of neurasthenia," in an effort to combine these as 
an exact disease. 

It is very different whether we consider this classic form 
or the commonly accepted type. On the one hand there may 
be mere nervous irritability, while on the other this is accen- 
tuated until it approaches the border line of psychical aberra- 
tion. The more grave condition has been traced from a neu- 
rotic heredity or degeneracy, while the simpler application is 
made to embrace all forms of mental worry, from a mere ner- 
vous headache to some pronounced phobia, or dread. The 
two types, however, often intermingle on the threshold of 
some severe nervous affection, with hypochondriacal, epileptic 
or paralytic symptoms, or even insanity. 

The popular idea of nervous debility held by the laity as 
well as by the general practitioner in medicine is not the seri- 
ous disorder of the alienist any more nearly than is a "fit of 
the blues" which, since the days of Burton's Anatomy of 
Melancholy, has been attributed to "biliousness" is true mel- 


ancholia. The two terms are used by the unknowing or the un- 
thinking ones as interchangeable, the one being a simple tem- 
porary mental despondency, which may arise from any one 
of many causes, while the more serious ailment manifests this 
condition profoundly and characteristically all the time. 

Charcot claimed that neurasthenia was entitled to a defi- 
nite place in mental pathology, because the disease as wit- 
nessed by him maintains its identity under varying circum- 
stances of origin. He believed the condition to be essentially 
distinct from hysteria, although it might be associated with 
that disease, and so present a complex hystero-neurasthenia 
a combination which was also described by Beard. That is, 
the patient may exhibit only neurasthenic symptoms, or 
united with these the symptoms may be of positive hysteria. 

Levillain 6 has, with many other authors, described two 
varieties of neurasthenia that from heredity and the ac- 
quired. The two forms differ not only in their progress, but 
in their response to treatment. Among the peculiar train of 
symptoms commonly seen in this disorder are curious feelings 
of morbid fear or dread experienced by its subjects. This 
is similar to the hallucinations which the Germans term 
"zwangsvorstellungen" and "zwangshandlungen," and which 
others have given a long list of terrible names. Agoraphobia 
is a dread of open spaces, anthropophobia is a fear of society, 
the antithesis of which is monophobia the fear of being 
alone. Then there is pantophobia, a fear of everything, and 
a culmination which must be the last straw phobophobia, a 
fear of being afraid. The French term this condition "peurs 
maladies." 1 "Folie de doute'' is the name given by Le 
Grande du Saulle to a condition of chronic uncertainty when 
there is a morbid doubt about everything. 

Hereditary neurasthenia, it is asserted, may develop in 
those whose parents were distinctly nervous, even though the 
usual determining cause may not be present. Among predis- 
posing causes, over-excitation including all forms of over- 
strain, whether sudden or gradual, is predominant, while 
the condition is not markedly influenced by alcohol or nar- 

9 Levillain; 1891. 7 Gelineau; 1894. 



cotics. The essential symptoms which Charcot described as 
the stigmata of the disease are: (1) Headache of a special 
kind; (2) Digestive troubles; (3) Incapacity for work; (4) 
Loss or diminution of sexual desire; (5) Muscular lassitude, 
marked by easily induced fatigue, and painful stiffness; (6) 
Spinal pain; (7) Insomnia; (8) Hypochoridriacal views of 
life. Other symptoms which may appear are vertigo, car- 
dialgia simulating angina pectoris, palpitation of the heart, 
feelings of f aintness, and irritable pulse ; but these may not be 
constant. The muscle weakness, with an indescribable irrita- 
bility expressive of fatigue, Charcot considered so prominent 
a symptom that he reserved for it the term "amy asthenia" 
The headache is of a peculiar character, suggestive of a weight 
or constriction over the back of the head or vertex, and some- 
times over the whole cranium, described as the "neurasthenic 
helmet." In soma cases this sense of pressure may be hemi- 
cranial. The insomnia, or troubled sleep, so annoying in pro- 
nounced cases, is a very important symptom. The backache 
may be limited to the sacral region, or to the neck, or may at 
times be in the coccyx, and is commonly aggravated by pres- 
sure. The digestive symptoms are of a general nervous type. 
With these there is incapacity for mental work, and particu- 
larly a lack of concentration of thought. 

From the classic grouping it will be seen that it is often 
difficult to draw the line between actual organic nerve trouble 
and neurasthenia. Perhaps the usual type, as seen by the 
general practitioner, presents a nerve depression an inability 
of the organism to speedily repair itself after some call for 
unusual strain, while the two most prominent factors of this 
condition are sleeplessness and mal-assimilation. Under such 
influences it is easy to understand that the symptoms pre- 
sented may be manifest as cerebral, spinal, genital, chlorotic, 
vascular, cardiac, or gastric, while there may be an especial 
indication pointing toward the liver. It is quite plausible, as 
Boix has shown, to have a "nervous dyshepatia" as well as a 
nervous dyspepsia, due to defective innervation. 

It should be understood that the vast array of symptoms 
which go to make up the condition known as neurasthenia are 


largely those of reflex irritation, an irritation which may arise 
from any part of the organism and be transmitted through the 
sympathetic, and acting chiefly upon the blood vessels through 
the vaso-motor nerves. It is because of this reflex nature of 
the symptoms that the condition is often confounded with 
other diseases, and the sufferer may go the round of the va- 
rious specialists, and receive "local treatment" for conditions 
which are erroneously considered to be the chief cause of 
trouble. What the oculist regards as occasioned from eye 
strain the rhinologist may look for in the nose. If the patient 
be a woman, the gynaecologist locates the concentration of 
troubles in predominant functions. On the other hand, the 
genito-urinary expert has predetermined that in any nervous 
man the seat of ills is the prostate gland. It is, therefore, a 
very common occurrence to find that patients who are ner- 
vously irritable have become in themselves multiple special- 
ists. Through constantly going the rounds in search of relief 
they become familiar with various local conditions, which may 
give rise to similar symptoms to those they suffer. 

These subjects, as a class, are acute and quick; they belong 
to the clever people, and they are either all elation and prone 
to overdo or way down "in the blues." It is not surprising 
then that they soon become familiar with the various remedial 
efforts toward relieving their symptoms. They not only know 
in advance what their medical advisers may suggest, but are 
often prepared to offer a long series of protests against each 
particular effort toward aiding them to recover from their de- 
plorable condition. If to such a patient, complaining of in- 
somnia, the physician suggests sulphonal that drug keeps 
them awake. Then ensues a hasty enumeration of the several 
hypnotics they have employed, while they recount wherein 
each had proved in their case an utter failure. If the symp- 
toms complained of are pronouncedly about the head, they 
know all about refraction, astigmatism, and the cutting of eye 
muscles, or they have had their turbinated bodies taken out, 
or hypertrophied tissue removed from nose or throat, their 
ears inflated, or they have inhaled and been sprayed to an 
alarming extent. If by chance the stomach but manifests a 


twinge of protest, then that poor organ has been dieted and 
washed, both gavage and lavage ad nauseam. Thus these 
patients are commonly treated through all the operative pro- 
cedures until it is no wonder they should finally become ner- 
vous wrecks, ultimately going about from one resort to 
another, unable to find relief, unable even to find what they 
deem a competent trained nurse to cater to their imaginings, 
while a kindly disposed helpmate dances attendance upon 
their peevish whims. 

Frequently these cases are subjects of plethoric prosperity, 
who, if not constitutionally weak, have had no education in 
self-control. They have spoiled themselves by fretting, and 
are being more rapidly ruined by petting; the very kindness 
and consideration that is bestowed upon them at home only 
adds fuel to their \veakness. Often an entire change of en- 
vironment affords the best condition for the treatment of such 
cases, such as the rest cure of Weir Mitchell, or one of the 
German watering establishments, where the regimen is rigid 
and exact. They must be coerced into recovery or else they 
will go through the balance of life a nuisance alike to them- 
selves as well as to those who would wish to be their friends. 
Examples of this condition are legion, and the complainings 
are as multiple and varied as the ideas of man. 

There are instances of self-control when sufferings are 
held in check while continuing at work. Some of the ablest 
men in the world's history have been those of weak nervous 
organization. "Wise judges are we of each other," says Bul- 
wer. Often those whom we look upon as of indomitable will 
may suffer keenly from some seemingly trivial nervous symp- 
tom. A few years ago a prominent justice, who though out- 
wardly was the very picture of health, assured me he suffered 
more keenly than the abject criminals brought before him, 
and was literally a coward from nervous dread. He came a 
long distance for consultation. Possibly it was a satisfaction 
to get out of his immediate environment and relate his suffer- 
ings to one who could listen patiently with a wish to guide 
him understandingly. Being a popular politician, he was 
often called upon to make speeches at the most inopportune 


times for him, and he seriously proposed to give up a life 
position because he felt he could not stand the nervous strain. 

This is but one example of many similar cases occurring 
among professional men, with mental faculties constantly at 
full tension. Whenever there is a lull in their work their 
thoughts revert to themselves, and the symptoms of an over 
tired nervous organism are magnified into some serious physi- 
cal ailment. These are the cases that maintain the advertis- 
ing quacks. They wish to be treated confidentially because 
they would not have their friends know for the world that 
they are ailing in any particular. They, who are seemingly 
so strong, would feel humiliated to recount a tale of personal 
weakness even to a medical man. It can readily be appre- 
ciated how necessary it is that a physician shall listen atten- 
tively to the story these patients tell, and advise with them 
openly and candidly as to the plan of treatment, which pri- 
marily must consist in some better means of living rather 
than a dependence upon medication alone. An interchange 
of confidence between patient and physician, while always 
advisable, is more necessary in these particular cases than in 
any other in the entire field of practice of medicine. There 
must be faith, and in this much I am an advocate of the faith 
cure. Indeed, faith is necessary in every walk of life. A. 
chimney may blow off the roof, one may fall on a slippery 
pavement, a horse may run away, a bridge might fall, a boat 
might sink, and a hundred and one possibilities might occur 
to the nervously imaginative. Fear often becomes so exag- 
gerated in the minds of these weak patients that they finally 
become too timid to attempt anything serious. Such a sub- 
ject must be assured why and how he is to get well. I once 
had a patient who would be excited to an indescribable dread 
if, when walking in the street, he met a truck having any part 
of the load projecting, such as a chair leg or plank. To avoid 
it he felt compelled by some uncontrollable influence to turn 
off into a side street. In another case a young man, could 
never go into the society of women, and actually avoided meet- 
ing them as much as possible in the street because of an ex- 
pressed fear that he "must punch them." These were cases 



of simple neurasthenia, which appropriate hygienic measures, 
combined with the administration of Coca a remedy which 
the homoeopaths have long associated as a specific in cases of 
timidity and bashfulness completely cured. 

The numerous examples which Kraft-Ebing 8 relates of the 
" Jack the Ripper" order belong to this same class. The com- 
plainings of these patients should not be treated flippantly, 
for the subjects are earnest in their endeavor to find relief 
from a form of suffering which, while not actually painful, is 
profoundly humiliating and mentally agonizing. It can be 
well understood how readily such cases might adopt a drug 
habit in an unguided effort to find some means of relief. 

There is a tendency in the human mind which is over- 
weighted to seek support in unburdening a portion of trouble 
by recounting mental sufferings, whether of illness or not, to 
another. The celebrated actor, Mr. Frank Drew, related to 
me a curious example illustrating this, which occurred to him 
on a recent visit to England. He was dining alone in a 
restaurant, when a gentleman approached with the remark : 
"I trust you will not mind if I take a seat at your table ?" 
"Not at all," replied the actor ; "I shall enjoy company." 
The two fell into a casual chat, which was resolved into 
the stranger telling a long and intricate story regarding a 
purely personal matter, of no interest to an outsider, yet 
which was patiently listened to without interruption to the 
end. Then, as though having unbosomed himself of a weight 
of woe, he arose, saying : 

"You will excuse my having troubled you with this story, 
but really it has been a great source of comfort to me to have 
found some one to whom I could tell it. Knowing that we 
are absolute strangers, and shall never meet again, I have not 
hesitated to talk freely to you." On the assurance of a hearty 
sympathy, and that the secret should remain inviolate, they 
parted, neither expecting to ever see the other. But it so 
chanced, in the littleness of this world, that the following 
night brought them together again at a dinner party, where 
they were introduced under embarrassing recollections. 

8 Kraft-Ebing; 1892. 


Not long since, a physician told me of an incident bearing 
upon this same tendency, which had occurred to him. One 
day at the close of his office hours he was preparing to 
leave for some outside work, when a lady was ushered into the 
consulting room, and instead of relating any physical ailment, 
entered into a long story of family history, which was listened 
to attentively, in expectation that it was to lead up to the real 
cause of her visit. 

After this story was completed, the relator asked what she 
was indebted for the consultation, to which the physician, 
conscious of his hurry and delay, said in a perfunctory way: 
"Five dollars." "Five dollars! Why, I should think that 
was altogether too little for having taken up so much of your 
time." "Well, then, I will say ten dollars," said the doctor, 
treating the whole matter very much as a joke. But the 
sincerity was shown by the willingness with which the fee 
was extended with the query: "When shall I come again?" 
"Say in two weeks," said the consultant smilingly. "Two 
weeks! Hadn't I better see you in one week?" "Very 
well, make it one week." And so for several weeks in 
succession this patient returned and continued to revert 
to this same story, each time leaving well satisfied after 
having deposited the customary ten-dollar fee. A case of in- 
sanity ! Oh, no, merely an over troubled mind which, with- 
out apparent physical ailing, had sought relief of mental wor- 
ries from a physician, who undoubtedly prevented more seri- 
ous trouble and effected a cure simply through being a good 
listener. While such instances are not rare in the routine of 
any practitioner, they seem almost incredible. 

I was recently talking with a leading laryngologist, whose 
practice is in Philadelphia, upon this same line of thought, 
when he related an anecdote which had occurred in his own 
practice. He had gone to Paris for a short visit and had left 
instructions that his assistant would continue his practice. 
One day he was visited at his hotel in Paris by one of his 
Philadelphia patients, who, entering in the most casual way, 
said : "Doctor, I have a little trouble with my throat I would 
like to have you look at to-day." The physician, being really 



surprised to see his patient thus unexpectedly so far from 
home, asked him how long he had been in Paris and how long 
he proposed to remain, and was the more astonished at the 
reply: "Oh, I just ran over to have my throat treated, and 
shall take the steamer back to-morrow." 

These examples, while in a measure indicating the small- 
ness of the world, illustrate the fact that patients recognize 
and require the personal factor in the treatment of their 
troubles. An element of confidence is established, not neces- 
sarily in consequence of any superior preliminary qualifica- 

ANDEAN TAMBO AT ALTITUDE OP 13,500 FEET. [From a Photograph.'] 

tions on the part of the medical man, but because perhaps he 
has applied his knowledge understandingly. 

Dr. Tuke 9 has written scientifically and very entertain- 
ingly regarding the subtle relations existing between mind 
and body a subject which surely has a very important bear- 
ing upon the entire range of functional nervous troubles. The 
mind has an extraordinary influence, even in health, in caus- 
ing disorders of imagination, sensation and also of organic 
functions. An outgrowth from this a going off as it were 
on a tangent leads to various beliefs in phenomena of a 

Tuke; 1884. 


superstitious nature and forms a fertile field for the growth of 
unfortunate methods of treatment; unfortunate because dis- 
appointment must follow after the loss of valuable time in ex- 
perimenting. In this connection I recall a remark made at 
an alumni dinner by the late Dr. John Hall in speaking of 
the so-called Christian science : "There is no Christianity in 
it, and it is not at all scientific." 

It is a well-known fact to the physiologist that the mind 
may excite or depress the various nerve centres, and through 
these occasion functional changes in muscles or nerves. I 
hope it has been conclusively shown that this is the underlying 
factor occasioning many of the numerous subjective symp- 
toms among that immense class known as neurasthenics. 
When the famous Dr. John Hunter's 10 attention was drawn 
to the phenomenon of animal magnetism which was exciting 
the scientific w r orld more than a century ago, he recognized the 
possible influence of expectancy upon the imagination, and in 
his lectures said: "I am confident that I can fix my attention 
to any part until I have a sensation in that part." It is because 
this possibility of the influence of the will is overlooked that 
greater success is not more commonly met with in the treat- 
ment of functional nerve troubles. Mr. Braid 11 emphasized 
this fact when he said : "The oftener patients are hypnotized 
from association of ideas and habit, the more susceptible they 
become, and in this way they are liable to be affected entirely 
through the imagination. Thus, if they consider or imagine 
there is something doing, although they do not see it, from 
which they are to be affected, they will become affected ; but, 
on the contrary, the most expert hypnotist in the world may 
exert all his endeavors in vain if the party does not expect it, 
and mentally and bodily comply, and thus yield to it." A 
trite application of this thought is the example of the patient 
who felt "better" as soon as the clinical thermometer had been 
placed under his tongue. 

In the answers received to my inquiry in this research re- 
garding therapeutic application, fully one-half of those who 
went at all into detail advocated the use of Coca for cases of 

1 Hunter; 1839. "Braid; p. 32; 1843. 


neurasthenia, and for the various symptoms of nerve and 
muscle depression grouped under that title. The whole train 
of ills resulting from debility, exhaustion, overwork, or over- 
strain of nerve or mind, recalls the early designation given to 
the classification of this long group of symptoms by some of 
the European physicians as "the American disease," the 
derangement of an overworked and overhurrying people. The 
general advocacy of Coca for this condition indicates that the 
causes which tend to produce such derangement are not only 
important problems to the general practitioner throughout our 
country, but must be predominant factors wherever there 
is an impulse to supremacy. It makes little difference under 
just what name the symptoms may be treated so long as the 
patient shall be relieved of suffering. 

There is a general idea in the minds of the laity which, un- 
happily, is also shared by some physicians, that to name a dis- 
ease is far more important than its treatment. I well recall, 
when attending lectures upon medicine, how eager the first 
year students were to make notes of the various remedies 
which each lecturer might advocate for different conditions. 
It is a difficult task to fill such a therapeutic notebook, but far 
more difficult to find an appropriate application for the pre- 
scriptions suggested. Diseases are of necessity broadly taught 
in types, and treatment is wholly a result of judgment on the 
part of the individual practitioner. When a physician has 
advanced far enough in his struggles in medicine to realize 
how few specifics there are, he surely broadens himself by cut- 
ting loose from the narrow channels of thought he had origi- 
nally traced in his early student days. 

Dr. E. G. Janeway, in a paper before the New York Acad- 
emy of Medicine, refers to this tendency to treat the name of 
a disease rather than the condition in the following anecdote: 

"Shortly after my entrance into the profession, a fellow 
interne at the hospital was stricken with a fever, the supposed 
cause of which was found in the condition of his urine, which 
contained blood, albumen and casts, and the name of his mal- 
ady was at this time nephritis. He was given podophyllin to 
keep his bowels relaxed, and was made to take a hot bath each 


day. At the expiration of ten days of this treatment, an ex- 
amination showed an eruption. The name of the disease was 
changed to typhus fever; the cathartics were discontinued, 
and in their stead whiskey was ordered. No marked change 
was noted in his condition to call for the change in the treat- 
ment ; it was simply dependent upon the mental conception of 
the requirements of typhus fever then in vogue." 12 

Probably the majority of the laity regard therapy from 
the standpoint of specifics. If a proper diagnosis has been 
made, the medicine for that particular disease should be 
readily forthcoming. If a given prescription does not afford 
the relief as speedily as anticipated, the thought is suggested 
that possibly an error has been made in diagnosis, and par- 
ticularly in the larger cities, this leads to a "going the rounds" 
from one physician to another in search of one who will know 
"the right medicine." Then again the ill commonly want a 
remedy which they can continue for some particular disease, 
rather than for any immediate condition. This unfortunate 
state of affairs is largely the fault of the physician in not edu- 
cating his patients. 

While summering in a small country town in the western 
part of New York State, a hearty Irishman, a farmer, called 
at my office and asked for : "A somethin' for a kauld," empha- 
sizing his necessity by a gurgling cough that seemed to rattle 
from his boots up. On my asking him to step into the con- 
sulting room that I might see just what his condition was by 
an examination, he replied in astonishment : 

"Examined, is it ! Sure I've lived here for the last twin- 
ty-foive years, and never yet was examined for a kaff or a 
kauld !" And he very indignantly left my office to seek some 
one who would supply him with the needful mixture, for it 
had been the custom of his usual consultant to give a mixture 
which might delight the heart of a veterinarian, with some 
such assurance as he patted a bottle of prodigious size, as: 
"What ye don't take now will do agen." 

If the practice of medicine includes instructing the com- 
munity as to the limitations of physic, and the necessity for 

"Janeway; Vol. XII. p. 79. 


appropriate methods of living, as well as writing prescriptions 
or dispensing medicines, it would seem that a physician should 
take pride in teaching his individual patients. It is only by 
some such method, that in the process of time people will be- 
come educated sufficiently to value a conscientious opinion 
that there is absolutely no trouble and no need for treatment, 
as of greater monetary worth than a piece of paper ordering 
something to take to assure a fee. 

Again, I would impress that in no condition that the 
physician is called upon to treat is it more necessary to in- 
struct the patient and endeavor to awaken a personal interest 
and inspire confidence than in the treatment of neurasthenia. 
These cases, as a class, are so prone to try all sorts of reme- 
dies, that they lapse into a condition where it seems as though 
remedial measures were almost of no avail. Any physician 
who tries to cure such a patient by the simple administration 
of medicine alone, or by any one unaided method of local 
treatment, will find that he has not only a very serious, but 
hopeless, time-consuming task to perform. Personally I have 
run the gamut of I might say, about all methods that have 
been advocated, and have learned by repeated disappointment 
how difficult it is to employ one plan. Each case must be 
studied and treated independently. 

From being an early admirer of Dr. Beard's work, I un- 
dertook to follow his procedures, not only in medication but in 
topical treatment. At one time I used electricity very largely 
and employed the static machine with considerable advantage 
in some cases. In view of our present knowledge, I hardly 
believe it will be presumed that this machine simply "strikes 
awe to the patient," nor that "they see the wheels go round 
and feel better." With a desire to know more profoundly the 
rationale for success in this direction, I sought to learn from 
the manufacturer of my machine who had also made the 
instrument used by Dr. Beard, in just what manner he ap- 
plied it. I was assured that the handles of his electrodes were 
made large and long, yet, in spite of this, were frequently 
being broken. When a suitable case presented, after describ- 
ing the proposed method of treatment, the patient was asked 





whether he wished to be cured immediately, or within a space 
of several months. As may be readily inferred, the majority 
of patients wished to be cured at once, and so treatment was 
commenced by a vigorous application of the electrode down 
the spine, in a nlanner which combined static sparks with mas- 
sage in such vigorous blows as to account for the frequent 
breakage of handles. After this electric attack, the patient 
was usually quite resigned to accept treatment less severe, 
"even if it takes more time, doctor." 

Here, then, was something of the personal not to be found 
in this^ author's works. A mild application of static electric- 
ity that delightful aura the gentle breeze of ozone which 
may be wafted from the wooden ball electrode is quite differ- 
ent from the more "magnetic method" described. And it was 
the method the force perhaps, the personal magnetism at 
any rate which rendered the treatment successful. 

Neurasthenia is a combination of many symptoms of very 
different nature; realizing this it is desirable to learn just what 
these symptoms may be, and whether they are pronouncedly 
mental or physical. An effort should be made, too, to learn 
something about the patient, as well as about the cause of com- 
plaint about his work, ambition, hobbies and pleasures. 
Often these cases necessitate a gradual reparation of many 
functions before complete cure is to be hoped for, and this will 
necessitate time. Indeed, time alone with a case under appro- 
priate guidance will work wonders. I usually advocate increas- 
ing the activity of the skin by a daily cold sponge bath, taken 
on rising. Patients quite commonly object to this they "can- 
not stand the shock." But it is this very shock that is desirable 
when indicated. Judiciously used, the physician will find 
water one of the most useful measures in neurasthenic cases. 
Indeed, without being an advocate of any "pathy," I believe 
our friends, the hydrapaths, certainly deserve much credit for 
popularizing so simple a remedy. I commonly advise, where 
there is any trouble with the digestive functions, the drinking 
of hot water after the method recommended by Dr. Salisbury 
and so ably advocated by Dr. Ephraim Cutter. 

A glassful of water, as hot as can be borne, should be 


slowly sipped while dressing. Where there is constipation 
the addition to this of a teaspoonful of Merck's dried sulphate 
of soda will bring the effects of the best of bitter waters of the 
German spas home. As to the action of this hot water drink- 
ing, I think it cannot be better explained than by repeating a 
conversation between two clergymen overheard while rum- 
maging through the literary treasures of a book shop. One 
gentleman was extolling to the other, who was very deaf, the 
efficacy of drinking a glass of hot water before breakfast not 
for deafness, however. To the subdued inquiry from the deaf 
gentleman as to how it worked, the other shouted: "Sort of 
washes out the insides," and perhaps this is as much as any of 
the advocates of this measure can say. It assists in dissolving 
and washing out the mucus from the stomach, and so pre- 
pares that organ for food after the prolonged stage of inac- 
tivity of the night. 

A careful inquiry into the dietary of the patient and a 
proper regulation of that is always absolutely essential. With- 
out any pet hobbies in this particular, I have often kept pa- 
tients on an exclusive milk diet for months at a time, or again 
upon a diet of beef and hot water, at times associating with 
this a liberal supply of grapes. But fruit simply because it is 
fruit is a delusion as great as the brown bread of Dr. Graham 
both should be taken guardedly and advisedly. I believe, 
with the late Dr. Fothergill, that usually sufferers from ner- 
vous troubles do not like fats, while at times they are great 
lovers of sweets, which by fermentation give an added discom- 
fort. Physiology teaches us that the constituents of nerve 
cells are chiefly built up from fatty substances, and as the 
nerves will take from the other tissues it is very reasonable to 
understand that nervousness and mal-nutrition commonly go 

Among these subjects the use of milk proves beneficial, 
because of the contained cream, which is the most easily di- 
gested of all fat. And when they will not, or imagine they 
cannot, drink milk, care should be taken that they shall be 
instructed how to use it. A patient confined to bed may put 
on flesh on an exclusive diet of two quarts of milk a day, but 


one that is up and about, engaged in mental or muscular labor, 
will require more than this amount. 

Dr. Weir Mitchell 13 was an early advocate of absolute 
rest, enforced feeding, and passive exercise in these nervous 
cases, which is unquestionably the highest ideal treatment in 
certain forms of neurasthenia. But where the patient is not 
ill enough to be put to bed, or will not consent to undertake 
this ordeal, then the physician must endeavor as nearly as 
possible to imitate this method by regulating the diet, en- 
forced feeding and massage. In the way of medication and 
as an adjunct to the food I know of no better remedy than 
Coca, preferably the original wine of Coca prepared by Mari- 
ani. In this the properties of Coca are appropriately pre- 
served by some special method of manufacture, while the mild 
wine adds a temporary stimulation which is enhanced by the 
more permanent influence of the Coca. 

Insomnia is very often an early, persistent and trouble- 
some symptom to be combated. An exhaustion of the brain 
cells must be repaired just as are the cells of any of the other 
tissues, through rest and a healthful blood supply. Sleep is 
the natural rest for the brain, and without this sweet restorer 
there can be no recuperation from any nervous derangement. 
I disparage the use of the usual hypnotics and very rarely 
have recourse to them, except in an emergency certainly not 
regularly in any one case. Yet our patients must sleep, and 
to establish the habit is going a long way toward ultimate cure. 
Coca, through its property of clearing the circulation, removes 
a source of irritation, and may ordinarily be relied upon to 
induce sleep. When more urgent measures are required the 
most magical benefit often follows the application of "wet 
pack." With a case of mania to treat, and with but one 
remedial measure to employ, I should rely by preference upon 
the wet pack. Admitting that at first it seems an almost 
suicidal undertaking to the patient and an alarming procedure 
to the patient's immediate family, who are anxiously looking 
on to see fair play, the result is all that could be hoped for. 
And it is for results that the physician's advice is asked. 

"Mitchell; 1884. 


To prepare a wet pack the bed is covered with a rubber 
sheet, and on this a blanket upon which is spread a sheet 
wrung out of cold water, say at 50 or 60 F. The patient 
is put naked on this wet sheet, which is quickly wrapped about 
and tucked in between the. legs and arms, so that each limb 
and the trunk shall be separately enfolded. The underlying 
blanket is then wrapped about the wet sheet, a hot water bottle 
is put to the feet, and a cold towel applied to the head. In 
this condition the subject is permitted to remain from twenty 
minutes to one or two hours, according to indications. After 
the first annoyance of seeming imprisonment from the bind- 
ings the patient will not mind it any more than does an Indian 
papoose its wrappings, for pleasant sleep soon follows, or in 
any case there is a soothed and quieted condition. When the 
pack is taken off the subject is rubbed dry and tucked up 
snugly in a dry bed, quite prepared to enjoy a night's restful 

There can be no greater mistake than to continue the use 
of bromides to allay nervous troubles without some other 
means added for strengthening the tissues. The bromides, as 
well as allaying peripheral irritation, always occasion marked 
depression. It was long since pointed out that Coca equalizes 
the various forces which constitute energy. A host of ob- 
servers have remarked that Coca possesses the tranquilizirig 
qualities of the bromides without the depressing effect, 14 and 
when it is considered necessary to give these salts this depres- 
sion may be counteracted by Coca, which even dissipates the 
after effects of chloral, opium and alcohol. 15 

In the very nature of things, women are more commonly 
the sufferers from neurasthenia than are men, because as a. 
rule women are less self-dependent. Formerly such a con- 
dition was termed hysteria, because it was supposedly only a 
disease of women, but since the group of symptoms which go 
to make up this condition have been more closely studied, 
they have been found quite as prevalent among men. It is 
only another instance of calling things by the wrong name. 
One who is diffident in society is often called nervous; a trem- 

'* Corning; p. 213; 1884. ^Idcm; p. 124; 1885. 


bling old man is nervous; the timid child is nervous; the sub- 
ject with a weak heart is nervous, as also is very probably the 
one whose stomach is distended with gas. We are apt to ap- 
proach matters wrongly; as a result benefits are often lost. 
Drunkenness, for instance, has occasioned a fearful battle 
against alcohol, and millions of dollars had been spent to 
prove that alcohol caused people to be hopeless drunkards and 
wrecks, before it was learned that drunkenness may simply be 
a manifestation of a diseased nervous system, while alcohol is 
really a food often of timely benefit when rightly used. 

Apropos of this thought, there comes to mind the instance 
of a recent interview of a professor in one of our leading col- 
leges who, being interrogated as to his views regarding the 
researches of Professor Atwater of Wesleyan University on 
"The Nutritive Value of Alcohol," replied to the query wheth- 
er he would class alcohol as a food : "If asked such a question 
by one of the laity I would reply no, but if asked by a scientist 
I must say yes." Unfortunately there is a tendency in some 
minds to jump at conclusions, and to this class the suggestion 
of food value seems to imply something which can take the 
place of beefsteak, while the facts of physiology clearly indi- 
cate the definition which I have formulated : A food is any 
substance taken into the body which maintains integrity of 
the tissues and creates the energy we term life. But this 
matter is more fully discussed in the chapter on dietetics. 



"Man's life, Sir, being 

Too short, and then the way that leads unto 
The knowledge of ourselves, so long and tedious, 
Each minute should be precious." 

Fletcher, The Elder Brother; I, ii. 

!N" the study of any scientific 
problem the tales and traditions 
which associate it with an early 
race are always full of interest, 
for not infrequently there are 
hidden among simple and even 
homely usages suggestive hints. 
Influences which among a primi- 
tive people were regarded with 
superstitious awe, as of supposed 
miraculous origin, have often 
been developed by knowledge in- 
to important means. Many of 
the most useful inventions have 
thus been interpreted through the 
light of science. The amusing trifles of childhood's hour 
have become the absorbing powers of the present. Civiliza- 
tion has advanced by the adaption of primitive means. The 
history of applied science has shown this, and is paralleled 
in the art of medicine, which, while perhaps of slower 



growth, has evolved from primeval methods at first re- 
garded as trivial and empirical, transformations of positive 

If the history of -any remedy be traced from its ancient 
uses it must be looked for amidst the fables and superstitions 
of the early people among whom it was associated. So closely 
allied has the practice of medicine been with the mysterious, 
that many still consider with Bacon, that: "Witches and 
impostors have always held a competition with physicians." 
There has ever been an association of caprice and prejudice in 
the application of any remedy. This is not merely due to an 
imperfect knowledge on the part of the physician, but to a 
false conception among the laity as to the action of medicines 
or of remedial measures. So when a prosaic real asserts itself 
over the false ideal, the result has often been an unfortunate 
scepticism. Science is but the outgrowth of truth, and truth 
must leave with the advance of time some record of its devel- 

Quinine came to us through the Incas, who had long been 
familiar with its uses before the advent of the Count of Chin- 
chon, and although its introductiop was clouded in mystery 
and prejudice, its application as a medicine has been none the 
less a benefit to millions of people. In the history of Coca, 
that shrub has been so intimately associated with the everyday 
customs of the simple people of its native land, that its actual 
merit remained uninvestigated for ages. For aside from the 
Spanish prejudice against its employment, the use of Coca 
was so general that any special effort to seriously study its 
true qualities seemed unnecessary. 

There is a tendency in the human mind to jog along in 
beaten ruts of old familiar ways without questioning, and so 
we witness the shallowness of those who have grown up to 
blindly follow the methods of their predecessors, instead of 
shaping and adapting the suggestions of earlier times to 
modern requirements. The natural outgrowth from this 
spirit is a narrowness of mind which, while probably asserted 
to be conservatism, may often be regarded as merely ignor- 
ance. For example, one may have followed from childhood 


some certain religion, and yet know absolutely nothing of the 
doctrines advocated nor any individual reason for accepting 
them, yet would vigorously resent any innovation upon the 
customs that were so early grounded, although incapable of 
offering any plausible support for this narrowness of vio\v. 
Such opposition is engendered of weakness, not of strength, 
it is not built upon true knowledge nor evolved from the logic 
of unbiased judgment. It is, as my preceptor, the famous 
anatomist, William Darling, would have said: "False and 
ridiculous false because not founded upon fact, and ridicu- 
lous because contrary to reason." 

Science does not advance a proposition which cannot be 
substantiated ; hence the purest science is self-evident. It 
should be as clear and undisputable as Mark Twain would 
have the proof of Christian Science : "Capable of being read 
as well backwards as forwards, perpendicularly or sidewise, 
and bound to always come out the same." 

There are relatively few physicians who can logically 
prove why they employ any certain method, yet these same 
practitioners would be quick to denounce any medicine used by 
others in a merely empirical way. The fact that the more 
familiar remedies are largely empirical has apparently not 
been recalled. The use of many modern medicines is a simple 
repetition of methods which have been continued from 
the traditions of antiquity. There are probably many who 
wield potent means who concern themselves little regarding 
the physiological action of opium or the salicylates, of iodide 
of potash, of quinine, or mercury, or a host of other drugs 
in everyday employment. 

Even after having accepted a medicine for use the possi- 
bilities of its application are not always appreciated. Opium 
may be a laxative or an astringent, a stimulant or soporific, 
according to the method of its employment, nor are the whole 
benefits of the drug to be found in any one of its numerous 
alkaloids. A similar influence is more prominently manifest 
in the use of the various varieties of the Coca leaf, or even 
from the use of Coca of one variety in different preparations. 
Between such preparations and cocaine which is commonly 



regarded as the sole active principle of Coca, the results are 
still more characteristic. 

Linnaeus considered that a medicine differed from a poison 
not so much in its nature as in its dose, and in this view food, 
medicine and poison may be considered as intimately allied 
to each other by indefinable gradations. A common example 
of this is illustrated in 
the use of certain con- 
diments. Thus mustard, 
which, when applied in 
a small quantity to the 
food, gives a zest to the 
appetite, in a large dose 
acts as an irritant and 
provokes vomiting. 

It has been the aim 
of physiologists to learn 
the working of the hu- 
man organism, and to 
trace through the tis- 
sues the influence of 
remedies in health as 
well as to understand 
their modified action in disease. The famous school of Alexan- 
dria, which flourished two centuries before Christ, may be 
regarded as giving the first inception to physiology, yet for 
centuries this science progressed only by slow stages. Hero- 
philus and Erasistratus were permitted to practice vivisection 
upon criminals, an example which was followed by Fallopius. 
These experimenters did little more than examine the gross 
anatomy of parts, though Herophilus is considered to have 
been the first to describe the pulse. But there could be little 
done with the intricacies of physiology until minute anatomy 
was better understood. 

Many of the early philosophers in medicine built theories 
which were blindly followed by their adherents, just as has 
been continued by their successors of the present. At the be- 
ginning of the Christian era Galen, following the doctrine of 



pneuma which regarded life as a spirit, taught that the cir- 
culation was a sort of general respiration, the suction of air 
filling the vessels "with blood and spirits" and so causing the 
wave of pulse. He explained a multitude of qualities and 
varieties of the pulse, but his theories were so intermingled 
with superstition as to command little respect. 

At the period when the Spanish were interested in the sub- 
ject of conquests, anatomy and physiology was advancing 

along with the other sciences. 
Vesalius, who was physician 
to Charles the Fifth of Spain, 
in his researches pointed out 
many errors of Galen, and es- 
tablished the modern princi- 
ples of anatomy, while Fal- 
lopius and Eustachius added 
the result of their investiga- 
tions, and Porta and Kepler, 
following the earlier hints of 
Alhazen on refraction, laid a 
foundation for more perfect 
knowledge of the eye. The 
WILLIAM HARVEY. greatest impetus was given 

to physiology after Harvey made known his theory on the 
circulation of the blood, which he had built up from the re- 
searches of Bacon, the Spaniard Servetus, the Italian Colum- 
bus, the botanist Csesalpinus, and other famous scholars of the 
school of Padua. This advance was supplemented by the 
work of Asellius on the lacteals, of Jean Pecquet on the chyle, 
of Riidbeck on the lymph, and by the studies of Malpighi upon 
the capillaries and the process of oxygenation of the blood in 
the air cells. From this was gradually evolved our present 
knowledge regarding the assimilation and transference of food 
into nourishing blood. 

Prior to this time it was not known how the tissues were 
constructed, nor what were the subtle processes of nourishment 
aside from victuals. The science of physiology had only 
been dreamed of, and was slowly evolving from a belief 



in animal spirits and other vague controlling influences akin 
to the supernatural. The soul was regarded as the living 
force within the body, not only in stimulating the muscles to 
contract, but presiding over the secretions. Haller and John 
Hunter were the founders of comparative anatomy. The first 
was the originator of the doctrine of irritability, which he 
showed was not dependent upon the presence of the soul, and 
from this originated the experimentation which led to an un- 
derstanding of the inherent 
contractile power of muscle 
when separated from its 

Cullen, one of the greatest 
theorists in medicine, display- 
ed an ingenious system of 
physiology. He supposed life 
to consist in an excitement of 
the nervous system, and 
especially of the brain, gener- 
ating a vital force which dif- i& 
fused through the animal/^ 
frame just as electricity pre- 
vails over nature. In addi- 
tion to this force he inferred another which he termed Vis 
Medicatrix Natures. Through the interaction of both of these 
there must be maintained a balance to constitute health, while 
through their unequal activity the problem of disease was to be 
explained. 1 These teachings were modified by John Brown, 
who about the commencement of the nineteenth century was 
private secretary to Dr. Cullen. He taught that life is due to 
an excitability imparted to every man at his birth and that all 
disease must belong to either the sthenic or asthenic diathesis. 
The misconception and confusion of the term stimulant 
originated from the teachings of those ancient philosophers 
who, in order to offer a physiological explanation for their 
theory of "vital force," established the supposition of an ex- 
citation of tissues from the irritation of stimulus, which they 

1 Cullen's Physiology and Kosology; Vol. I, p. 131. 



presumed must necessarily be followed by depression. To 
this has been added a modern confusion through confound- 
ing stimulants with intoxicants, which is erroneous in fact. 
Quickly digested food is a. stimulant, a cup of hot water 
slowly sipped may be a stimulant, and these or any substance 
which increases natural action which is the true definition 
of stimulant will not necessarily be followed by a period of 
depression corresponding to the previous sense of well being. 
Nor does a proper stimulant irritate to fretful excitement. 
The true stimulant simply rouses latent energies, which may 
be quite capable to work if only suitable impetus be given 
to promote activity. One of the most able writers upon this 
subject 2 has placed quickly digested and nutritious food at 
the head of stimulants, of which all other means can but be the 
faint reflex. Under such action, the pulse is given increased 
firmness without hurry and there is less feeling of fatigue, 
while a grateful warmth pervades the body, accompanied by 
a general sense of well being. These indeed are the physiolog- 
ical results of a good meal or may similarly follow from the 
use of Coca. These facts have been interpreted by many 
observers, and although it is not claimed that Coca replaces 
beefsteak, certainly it may in emergency act as a substitute 
for a more ample dietary, or may advantageously be used at 
other times to stimulate the assimilation and conversion of 
other food. It is the reconstructive action upon the tissues 
which forms one great benefit of the wide range of usefulness 
of Coca. 

For more than three centuries the information that had 
come to the world in regard to Coca had been chiefly of a the- 
oretical nature. The writings of travellers and of missionaries 
who were located in the sections of South America where Coca 
was used, had prepared the way for a scientific investigation 
of its properties as soon as there was a possibility of such work 
being done with exactitude. After the botanists had classified 
the plant, and chemists had begun to search for the hidden 
properties of its traditional action, the researches of the physi- 
ologists soon followed. 

2 Anstie; 1865. 



In Europe the attention of the medical profession was di- 
rected to the action of Coca through a widely circulated paper 
by Dr. Mantegazza, who experimented upon himself, using 
the leaves both by chewing and in infusion. His description, 
while somewhat fanciful and full of imagination, fairly illus- 
trates the physiological action of Coca, provided it is appre- 
ciated that observations made by an experimenter upon his 
own person are necessarily 
influenced by the tempera- 
ment of the individual. He 
found from masticating a 
drachm of the dried leaves: 
"An aromatic taste in the 
mouth, an increased flow of 
saliva, and a feeling of com- 
fort in the stomach, as 
though a frugal meal had 
been eaten with a good appe- 
tite." Following a second 
and a third dose there was a * 
slight burning sensation in 
the mouth and pharynx with 
an increased pulse beat, 
while digestion seemed to be more active. Through the 
influence of Coca the entire muscular system is increased in 
strength with a feeling of agility and an impulse to exertion 
quite different from the exaltation following alcohol. While 
from the latter there may be increased activity, it will be 
of an irregular character, but Coca promotes a gradual 
augmenting of vigor with a desire to put this newly acquired 
strength in action. Mantegazza found that the intellectual 
sphere participates in the general exaltation produced by 
Coca, ideas flow with ease and regularity, the influence being 
quite different from that induced by alcohol and resem- 
bling in some degree that from small doses of opium. After 
drinking an infusion of four drachms of leaves he experienced 
a peculiar feeling as though isolated from the external world, 
with an irresistible inclination to exertion, which was per- 



formed with phenomenal ease, so that though in his normal 
condition he naturally avoided unnecessary exercise, he was 
now so agile as to jump upon the writing table, which he did 
without breaking the lamp or other objects upon it. Follow- 
ing this period of activity came a state of quietness accom- 
panied by a feeling of intense comfort, consciousness being all 
the time perfectly clear. The experimenter took as much as 
eighteen drachms of leaves in one day, which is about the 
amount ordinarily consumed by the Serrano of the Andes. 
Under this increased dose the pulse was raised to one hun- 
dred and thirty-four, and when mental exhilaration was 
most intense he exclaimed to his colleagues who were watch- 
ing the result of his investigation : "God is unjiist because 
he has created man incapable to live forever happy." 3 And 
again : "I prefer a life of ten years with Coca to a life of a 
million centuries without Coca." 4 Following these experi- 
ments, during which he had abstained from any food but 
Coca for forty hours, he took a short sleep of three hours, 
from which he woke without any feeling of indisposition. 

Dr. Mantegazza announced as a result of the studies made 
upon himself and verified upon other subjects that Coca, 
chewed or taken in a weak infusion, has a stimulating effect 
on the nerves of the stomach and facilitates digestion. That 
it increases the animal heat, and the frequency of the pulse 
and respiration. That it excites the nervous system in such a 
manner that the movements of the muscles are made with 
greater ease, after which it has a calming effect, while in large 
doses it may cause cerebral congestion and hallucinations. He 
asserted that: "The principal property of Coca, which is not 
to be found in any other remedy, consists in its exalting effect, 
calling out the power of the organism without leaving any 
sign of debility, in which respect Coca is one of the most pow- 
erful nervines and analeptics." From these conclusions he ad- 
vocated the use of Coca in disorders of the alimentary tract, 
in debility following fevers, in anaemic conditions, in hysteria 
and hypochondriasis, even when the latter has increased to 

8 "Iddio e ingiusto percJie ho fatto I'nomo incapace di poter rirere sempre 

* "lo preferiseta una vitta di 10 anni con Coca che un di 1,000,000 secoU enza 


suicidal intent. He considered that Coca might be used with 
benefit in certain mental diseases where opium is commonly 
prescribed, and was convinced of its sedative effect in spinal 
irritation, idiopathic convulsions and nervous erethism, and 
suggested its use in the largest doses in cases of hydrophobia 
and tetanus. 5 

Some of the assertions of Mantegazza are directly opposed 
by our present knowledge of the action of Coca, particularly 
the observations as to its action on the heart and respiration. 
This is to be accounted for by the pronounced central action 
he observed, evidently prompted by a belief that the influence 
of Coca was primarily through the nervous system. It has 
been developed by more recent research that Coca has > a direct 
action upon the muscular system. The action of Coca upon 
the heart is precisely as a regulator of that organ. If the 
heart's action is weak it is strengthened if it is excessive the 
over-activity is toned down if irregular the beat is made uni- 
form. This indicates that Coca is a direct cardiac toniCo Let 
the heart be running riot in a palpitation from over-exertion 
and a teaspoonful of Mariani The taken in a small cup of 
hot water will speedily bring the heart's action to normal. 
This unique preparation of Coca is in the form of an agree- 
able fluid extract, said to represent in one part, two parts of 
the leaves, and presenting in concentrated form all the quali- 
ties of true Coca. It may be administered plain, or drunk 
as a tea with cream and sugar ; in this latter form it has a 
taste resembling a rich English breakfast tea. 

The especial influence of Coca upon the heart is alone suffi- 
cient to establish it as a remedy of phenomenal worth. Lieu- 
tenant Gibbs, U. S. N., from a personal experience with Coca 
in crossing the high passes of the Andes, considered the sus- 
taining action of Coca in high altitudes due wholly to its en- 
abling the heart muscle to perform the extra work then called 
forth.* Similar observations have been made by many trav- 
ellers who have remarked the influence of Coca upon them- 
selves. Kecently Captain Zalinski, TJ. S. A. who rendered 
the dynamite gun an effectual instrument of war has been 

5 Mantegazza; 1859. * Gibbs; 1875. 


experimenting upon a concentrated ration suitable for the 
army. In pursuing his studies under a severe test he sub- 
mitted himself to the hardships of Andean travel, and 
through the high altitudes used Coca The and Coca Pate 
prepared by Mariani, the timely use of which, he assured 
me, had supported his life through a serious ordeal. 6 Dr. 
Beverley Robinson, referring to the efficiency of heart tonics* 
has written: "Among well known cardiac tonics and 
stimulants for obtaining temporary good effects, at least, 
I know of no drug quite equal to Coca. Given in the 
form of wine or fluid extract, it does much, at times, to 
restore the heart muscle to its former tone." In this con- 
nection, Dr. Ephraim Cutter says: "Coca should be more 
used in heart failure from direct weakness, and in many 
cases might well replace the conventional digitalis which ad- 
vances the treatment of heart disease no more than it was forty 
years ago."f Many physicians who have corresponded with 
me on the application of Coca have emphasized this influence 
from experiences in their practice. Coca is advocated to re- 
place digitalis or to tone up the muscular structure of the 
heart after use of the latter, either employed alone or alter- 
nately with digitalis when that is considered essential. \ 

The effect of Coca upon respiration is analogous to its 
action on the heart It acts as a regulator, not increasing 
respiration, but giving force to the cycle making inspiration 
deeper and expiration more complete. 

The observations of Mantegazza were so soon followed by 
Niemann's researches upon cocaine, that the mistaken con- 
ception originated that the phenomenal activity of Coca had 
been discovered in that alkaloid, and subsequent physiological 
work was almost wholly carried out upon cocaine with the re- 
sultant neglect of the parent plant. The reports of many of 
the earlier experimenters, however, were so contradictory as 
to give rise to a suspicion whether cocaine had been used at all. 
But as the substance employed had been obtained from Coca 
leaves, and as the investigators were familiar with the methods 

'Zalinski; person, com.; 1899. * Robinson, p. 238; 1867. t Cutter; 1888. 
$ See Heart, Collecilve Investigation, in Appendix. 




of physiological research, this variation suggested some proba- 
ble difference in the quality of cocaine used, which it was pre- 
sumed was brought about in the process of manufacture. This 
varying result has since been shown to have been occasioned 
by a mixture, in various proportions, of the Coca bases con- 
tained in the earlier specimens of cocaine, before they had been 
appreciated as distinct products. 

Schroff was one of the first to experiment with the new 
alkaloid. He observed that cocaine produces a slight an- 
aesthesia of the tongue, and gives an agreeable sense of light- 
ness of the mind with a condition of cheerfulness and well 
being, followed by lassitude and an inclination to sleep. From 
augmented doses he remarked giddiness, buzzing in the ears, 
dilatation of the pupils, impaired accommodation, headache, 
restlessness, and a feeling as though walking upon air. The 
heart was first quickened and then retarded. There was no 
reaction from the motor nerves, and the respiration was low- 
ered from smaller doses. 7 Demarle, who experimented about 
the same time with Coca, remarked the anaesthesia from chew- 
ing the leaves and the dilatation of the pupils noticed in his 
own person. 8 

In 1865, Dr. Fauvel, of Paris, used a preparation of Coca 
which had been prepared for him by Mariani as a local appli- 
cation, to relieve pain in the larynx, and this treatment was 
continued in England by Dr. Morrell Mackenzie and in the 
United States by Dr. Louis Elsberg, who had remarked the 
beneficial effects of this application in Fauvel's clinic. It 
seems remarkable that no general use was made of this anaes- 
thetic property for nearly a quarter of a century after these 
early observations until cocaine was adapted by Dr. Carl Kol- 
ler to the surgery of the eye. A great many erroneous accounts 
of this adaptation have been published, but I am assured 
this gentleman never wrote nor authorized any writing upon 
cocaine except the preliminary paper and his principal paper 
before the GteselUchaft der Arzte at Vienna, and later his 
article in the Reference Handbook* but in none of these is 
given the details which led to the surgical uses of cocaine. 

7 Schroff : 1862. 8 Ppmarlp; 1RR2. 

8 Reference Handbook of Medical Sciences, Vol. IX. p. 175 : New York, 1894. 


At the period of his experiments Dr. Koller was Sekun- 
dararzt, or house surgeon, on the staff of the k. k. Allgemeinen 
Krankenhauses, the largest hospital of Vienna, which serves 
also as a clinic for the medical faculty of the University. 
Through his connection with Professor Strieker he had been 
interested in experimental physiology and pathology and had 
made considerable research in the action of poisons upon the 
circulation. His investigations upon cocaine were therefore 
in a similar nature to those with which he was familiar. In 
August, 1884, Dr. Sigmund Freud and Dr. Joseph Breuer, of 
the University of Vienna, treated a prominent physiologist for 
morphinism by the use of cocaine, which had about then been 
prominently advocated in American literature. Several of 
the hospital staff were induced to try the effects of the alka- 
loid upon themselves. Among these was Dr. Koller, who, 
from a dose of the salt taken internally, remarked the be- 
numbing action upon the tongue which had already been re- 
corded by other observers. He had before been looking for a 
local anaesthetic, and with this in view had experimented with 
morphine, chloral, the bromides, and a number of other sub- 
stances, so when he experienced the numbness from cocaine 
he realized he had found the sought-for anaesthetic, and ex- 
perimented to determine its utility in ophthalmology. 

It has been asserted that this discovery was made acci- 
dentally, and the story is related that a student had in mis- 
take applied a solution of cocaine to the eye of a friend, when 
instead of the irritation feared from this carelessness, the 
property of dilatation and anesthesia was found. Dilatation 
of the pupil had previously been noted from cocaine, but anaes- 
thesia could hardly be observed accidentally, and, indeed, was 
determined not by local but by physiological experimentation. 
It had been known that the action of Coca through the circula- 
tion contracts the peripheral arteries, also that it dilates the 
pupil. Tschudi wrote: "After mastication of a great quan- 
tity of the Coca the eye seems unable to bear light and there is 
marked distention of the pupil." 1 An effect which had also 
been noted by many other observers. 11 

Tschudi ; 1840. " Schroff; 1862. Ott; 1876. Anrep; 1880. 


Koller's experiments were carried out in the laboratory of 
Professor Strieker upon guinea pigs. It was found that a 
minute quantity of a solution of hydrochlorate of cocaine 
dropped in the conjunctival sac, produced such complete local 
anaesthesia that the cornea could be irritated with needles and 
electric currents and cauterized with nitrate of silver until it 
became opalescent. This experiment suggested that anaes- 
thesia was not merely upon the surface but involved the entire 
thickness of the cornea. After experimenting upon animals 
the investigator applied cocaine to his own eye and examined 
the efficiency of the anaesthetic in diseased eyes. A prelimin- 
ary paper upon the result of this discovery was sent to the 
annual meeting of the Deutsche Ophthalmologiche Gesell- 
schaft, held at Heidelberg Sept. 15-16, 1884, which was read 
by Dr. Brettauer of Trieste. With this paper was a vial con- 
taining a few grammes of cocaine, which was all of the alka- 
loid that Merck could furnish at that time. 12 Meantime Koller 
continued his experiments and asked specialists in other de- 
partments to employ the alkaloid in their practice, for though 
satisfied that he had found a local anaesthetic adapted to the 
surgery of the eye, he believed that it was also suited to other 
special uses, a fact soon confirmed by several observers 
who based their researches upon this original investigation. 
This, briefly, is the story of the adaptation of this alkaloid of 
Coca to minor surgery, which is modestly all the merit of "dis- 
covery" that is claimed by the one through whom cocaine has 
been made a boon to suffering humanity, fully as important, 
and in many cases superior to the great anaesthetics, chloro- 
form and ether. 

When a two per cent, solution of cocaine is applied to the 
eye there is at first a slight irritation, followed by a drying of 
the secretions. The pupil is dilated and the eye has a staring 
look, occasioned from a wider opening of the lids. Anaesthesia 
continues for about ten minutes, followed by a stage of re- 
duced sensibility, slowly passing into the normal condition. 
Dilatation reaches the highest stage within the first hour, de- 
creases considerably in the second hour, and then soon dis- 

12 Roller; person, com.; Aug. 25; 1899. 


appears entirely. The pupil is never at a maximum dilata- 
tion ; that is, it may always be further dilated with atropine, 
and still responds to light and convergence. The dilating 
power of cocaine combined with atropine is invaluable when 
used fn cases of iritis, the combination counteracting both the 
muscular spasm and the local congestion. In this condition 
Koller uses equal parts of a five per cent, solution of hydro- 
chlorate of cocaine, with a one per cent, solution of sulphate 
of atropine. After the dilatation following a few applications 
the solution is used three times a day. 

At first it was supposed that local anesthesia from cocaine 
was due to anemia of the minute vessels, but it was found 
that though anemia followed an application of the alkaloid 
the anesthesia preceded this influence. 13 That the benumbing 
action was not only local but might be general through the cir- 
culation was subsequently shown by the subcutaneous injec- 
tion of a solution of the salt. Half a grain of hydrochlorate of 
cocaine so used occasioned a slight general anaesthesia, 14 while 
repeated injections of small doses caused a general reduction 
of tactile sensibility, with the sensation as though standing 
on cushions. 15 This was similar to the floating in the air ex- 
perience of Mantegazza from large doses of Coca, and is in ac- 
cord with the observation of Schroff with cocaine. The symp- 
tom is due to a lessened power of conduction in the cord. 

From an injection of 0.001 gramme of hydrochlorate of 
cocaine under the skin of the abdomen of a monkey, not only 
local but general anesthesia was produced which lasted for 
eighteen minutes without loss of consciousness. 16 It has been 
suggested that absence of tactile sensibility may give rise to 
the impression in the observer that consciousness in the sub- 
ject is lost. From the fact that a subcutaneous injection of 
cocaine at any point eases pain, it has been presumed that the 
action must be central as well as local. 17 But general anes- 
thesia has been shown to follow only from very large doses. 18 
While diminished sensibility may presumably be induced 
from a central cause, 19 the fact has been pointed out that 
lessened conduction, in the cord is a more potent factor in 

13 Alms; 1886. u Da Costa; 1884. 1B Hepburn; 1884. "Grasset; 1884. 
"Livierato; 1885. 18 Laffont ; 1887. 19 Laborde; 1885. 





diminishing the general sensibility than any narcotic action 
upon the brain. 20 

Cocaine has not only the property of exciting the brain, 
but the special senses may be inhibited by a dose sufficient to 
paralyze their terminal nerve endings. Thus powdered hy- 
drochlorate of cocaine blown into the nostrils first occasions 
increase and then total abolition of the sense of smell. 21 
Koller observed that an injection of cocaine solution in the or- 
bit occasioned loss of light in an eye he was about to remove. 
It has been remarked by physiologists in experimenting 
with alkaloids that there is a relation between the constitution 
of the chemical molecule and the physiological action. The 
introduction of methyl into the molecule of strychnine, bru- 
cine and thebaine changes the convulsive action of these sub- 
stances on the spinal cord to a paralyzing one exerted on the 
ends of the motor nerves. 22 Probably any of the organic alka- 
loids in which methyl and ethyl enter would paralyze both 
muscle and nerve, the latter before the former, the symptoms 
varying in accordance with the order in which different parts 
of the nervous system may be affected. The activity depends 
also upon the affinity which the substance may have for cer- 
tain tissues which through alteration of function may affect 
the organism, and this accounts for the difference manifest 
between a large and a small dose. This is illustrated by atro- 
pine and by curare, either of which paralyze motor nerves, 
but while a very large dose of curare is necessary to paralyze 
the cardiac and vascular nerves a small dose paralyzes the 
nerves going to the muscles. On the other hand, an enormous 
dose of atropine is required to paralyze the motor nerves, but 
a very small dose is sufficient to affect the nerves of the heart 
and other involuntary muscles, and thus we get rapid circula- 
tion, dilated pupil and restless delirium. 23 The influence of 
these radicals in the Coca bases has already been referred to.* 
The researches of several investigators indicate that co- 
caine is a protoplasmic poison, first stimulating, then paralyz- 
ing the vital functions, but it is possible to regulate this action 


20 Stockman; 1889. M Zwaardemaker; 1889. ^Brunton; p. 50; 1885. 

23 Idem; p. 48. * See also Ehrlich; 1890; and Poulsson; 1892. 


so that the functions may be either increased or held in check 
even in minute organisms. The motion of amoebae in normal 
salt solution was stopped by a two per cent, solution of cocaine 
and the movement of spermatozoids and of ciliated cells was 
checked by stronger solutions. 24 Claude Bernard long since 
explained that cell metabolism in the lower organisms in 
which the contractile protoplasm fulfills both the function of 
nerve and of muscle may be suppressed by chloroform narco- 
sis, the phenomenon being identical with that observed in an- 
aesthesia of animals. In such anaesthesia there is inhibition of 
cell activity and not necessarily death of cell substance. He 
has shown by experiment upon plants that while growth and 
cell division ceases when under the influence of the anaesthetic, 
vitality is resumed when the plant is again under normal 
healthful conditions. 25 This influence follows upon the use 
of cocaine. The cell life is first stimulated and if the dose is 
increased there is inhibition, but activity is resumed upon 
the withdrawal of the drug. Similar results were obtained in 
my research made in the laboratory of the botanical depart- 
ment of Columbia University. It was found that both Coca 
and cocaine have a marked stimulating influence upon the 
lower organisms. 28 

My experiments were made with infusoria, yeast, peni- 
cillium and the aquatic plant Elodea, which latter forms a 
common substance for illustrating in the laboratory the effect 
of metabolism as represented by the bubbles of oxygen given 
off under the action of various stimuli. Portions of this plant 
exposed in test tubes to similar conditions of water, tempera- 
ture and sunlight exhibited under the influence of Coca a stim- 
ulated metabolism as shown by the relative increase of bubbles, 
from twenty in twenty-eight seconds in the standard, to 
twenty in seven seconds in the tubes to which small portions 
of Coca The or solution of cocaine had been added. A similar 
result was obtained from the increased growth of the yeast 
plant in a solution of sugar, as indicated by the decomposition 
of the carbohydrate. 

^Albertoni; 1890. 25 Bernard: 1879. 

26 In these experiments I used Coca The and Wine of Coca of Marianl, hydro- 
chlorate of cocaine of Boehringer and Soehne, and cocaine of Merck. 


In each of four graduated test tubes there was placed 
fifteen cubic centimetres of a solution of sugar and yeast. 
One of these was left normal. To the others there was added 
respectively one, two and three cubic centimetres of a one per 
cent, solution of cocaine. The relative activity of metabolism 
was increased above the standard, twenty-five per cent., fifty 
per cent., and twenty-five per cent., the latter indicating the 
excitation limit for these particular organisms had been 

In studying the growth of penicillium, upon which Dr. 
Curtis was then engaged in making an exhaustive series of 
experiments upon turgor, I had the privilege of examining 
specimens prepared by this skilled microscopist of drop cul- 
tures growing in a nutrient solution. There was a very 
marked influence to be seen in the rapidity of growth, which 
was readily measured under the microscope and compared 
with similar specimens to which no Coca had been added. 

The influence of cocaine upon sensory nerves may be ef- 
fected not only by local application but by a direct application 
to the nerve trunks, and even by an application to the nerve 
centres in the cortex. 27 In 1885 Dr. Corning experimented 
with anesthetization of the spinal cord, and injected thirty 
minims of a three per cent, solution of hydrochlorate of co- 
caine between the spinous processes of the lower dorsal ver- 
tebrae in a subject suffering from spinal weakness. Sensibil- 
ity was impaired in the lower limbs and the patellar reflexes 
were abolished. There was but slight dilatation of the pupils 
and no inco-ordination or motor impairment discernible, but 
the patient experienced dizziness while standing and was men- 
tally exhilarated. 28 Dr. Bier of Kiel has recently suggested a 
general anaesthesia from cocaine by injecting by means of a 
Pravaz syringe from three to five cubic centimetres of a one 
per cent, solution' of hydrochlorate of cocaine directly into the 
vertebral canal. Following the injection complete anaesthesia 
of the lower limbs took place within eight minutes, gradually 
mounting as high as the nipple ; complete insensibility .to pain 
lasted about forty-five minutes. The serious nature of this 

^Tumass; 1887. M Corning; p. 91; 1885. 


procedure is sufficient to condemn the process for general use, 
in view .of less dangerous methods. 

It has been suggested that as the local influence of co- 
caine in moderate doses is chiefly exerted upon sensory nerves, 
large doses occasion a sensory paralysis which may even 
extend to the motor branches. 29 It has been shown, however, 
that the motor terminals are only indirectly paralyzed either 
through an anaesthetic action upon the skin or from an action 
upon the muscle through which the nerve passes, and in this 
way the motor nerves may be affected. 30 A number of ob- 
servers have found, from experiments upon lower animals, 
the motor nerves depressed, 31 or a diminution of muscle ir- 
ritability 32 from cocaine only after very large doses, while 
others have observed muscular paralysis without previous 
stimulation. 33 But as alteration of sensibility always pre- 
cedes the symptom of motor paralysis, the apparent lack of 
motion may be attributed to the former cause. Thus, Mosso 
describes having pressed his whole weight on the foot of a dog 
under the influence of a large dose of cocaine, without causing 
movement. Other observers have failed to note any direct ef- 
fect upon muscle from cocaine. 34 The action of cocaine seems 
more pronouncedly upon the central nervous system, while the 
properties of Coca appear to be controlled by its associate al- 
kaloids to affect muscle as well as nerve. The influence of 
Coca to excite muscle to energy is probably due to a direct 
chemical action toward the construction of proteid, as well as 
through the excitation of the hypothetical ferment of the 
contractile element, as has already been explained in the chap- 
ter upon muscle. The pronounced bearing which the asso- 
ciate alkaloids of Coca may exert, to maintain the balance of 
energy in favor of the leaf above one of its alkaloids, may be 
appreciated from a consideration of the distinctive physiolog- 
ical action of several of the more importanf active principles 
of Coca. 

A physiological study of all the Coca products has not been 

29 Anrep; 1880. so Alms; 1886. 

"Moreno y Mai'z; 1868. Buchhelm and Eisenmenger; 1870. Anrep; 1880. 
Mosso: 1887, ft al. 

S2 Biggs: 1885. Alms; 1886. Tumass: 1887. Stockmann; 1889, et al. 
"Danini; 1873. Berthold; 18S5. Sighicilli: 1885. 
84 Anrep; 1880. Robert; 1882. Stockmann; 1889. 





made, but Professor Ralph Stockmann* instituted an im- 
portant research in this direction at the University of Edin- 
burgh. From these experiments, it has been shown that the 
action of certain of the Coca alkaloids is directly upon muscu- 
lar tissue ; notably among these may be mentioned ecognine, 
benzoyl-ecognine, cocamine and hygrine. The influence of 
ecgonine upon the central nervous system is so mild that only 
large doses occasion slight depression, followed by increase of 
reflex irritability of the spinal cord which may last for sev- 
eral days. The substance has no anesthetic properties, and 
the motor nerves are not specially influenced. There is, how- 
ever, a lessening of the irritability of muscles, those having 
the largest blood supply being most deeply affected. When 
the drug was pushed to poisonous doses death followed from 
extension, of the rigor mortis to a large number of muscles. 
The effect of benzoyl-ecgonine is directly upon muscle in a 
manner somewhat similar to caffeine, inasmuch as it provokes 
a muscular stiffness ; this was followed, as late as the third 
or fourth day, by a slight increase in reflex excitability which 
upon increase of the drug tended to tetanus. This late mani- 
festation of spinal symptoms is due to the fact that benzoyl- 
ecgonine has so great an affinity for muscle, that it is imbibed 
by adjacent muscles so thoroughly that the more distant struc- 
tures receive at first very little of the drug. Non-striped 
muscle is not so much affected, and the heart is less involved. 
In cats one gramme (15.43 grains), occasioned dilatation of 
the pupils, great increase of the reflexes, and diarrhoea. From 
a poisonous dose death followed when a large number of mus- 
cles were affected, or after the spinal symptoms had been 
severe and long continued. The post mortem appearance re- 
vealed the remarkable influence of this alkaloid upon muscle 
by pronounced contractions of the intestines and bladder. 
Cocamine, which is a local anaesthetic, bears a nearer resem- 
blance to cocaine in its action than do the other Coca alkaloids. 
While it exhibits the effect of a general stimulant its action 
is so specifically upon muscle that its influence on the spinal 
cord is masked. Administered to a frog the animal became 

* See also Poulsson ; 1892. 


alert, excited, restless, and leaped in excess of its usual per- 
formance. There was an increase of the reflexes, and the 
signs of nervous and muscular symptoms continued for several 
days. The pupils, at first dilated, under an excessive dose be- 
came extremely small. The condition of the motor nerves 
and spinal cord was practically the same as in cocaine poison- 
ing, though the motor nerves were more prof oundly influenced. 
The nervous system was only affected after the alkaloid had 
left the muscle and entered the circulation. Cocamine, which 
is more lethal than is cocaine, when given in a small dose to a 
cat, occasioned excitement, dilatation of the pupils, twitching 
of the tail, ears, etc., while an increased dose caused muscular 
and nervous depression, vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness of 
gait, all of muscular origin. Death followed many hours 
after administration of a poisonous dose, and resulted either 
from rigor mortis of the respiratory muscles, or when more 
rapid from paralysis of the respiratory center. Post mortem 
there was constriction of the stomach, intestines and bladder 
so strongly marked as to cause hour-glass contraction. Hy- 
grine, injected under the skin of a frog, occasioned depres- 
sion, weakness in gait and dullness for a day or two, with tend- 
ency to starting and tremors. Its probable effect upon muscle 
was shown after death by hypersemic spots, scattered through- 
out the muscular structure and serous membranes, where it 
had been carried by the circulation. Locally, to the experi- 
menter's tongue, hygrine caused burning and tingling, the 
former soon passing off, but the latter lasting for an hour. 

Stockmann, in experiments upon the frog, using Merck's 
hydrochlorate of cocaine, verified, or rather harmonized the 
accounts of numerous earlier investigators. He found that 
cocaine in a moderate dose created a slight torpor with de- 
pression of both brain and spinal cord, the symptoms being 
of sensory rather than of motor depression. The pupils were 
dilated. There was no stage of excitement. Under an in- 
creased dose these conditions were all exaggerated, particularly 
the reflex to sensory impressions, which now resembled those 
present in a late stage of strychnine poisoning. With exces- 
sive doses there was sensory and motor paralysis, and the 


pupils were contracted to mere slits. The spinal cord seemed 
to be given an increased excitability, its discharges being 
rapid, while it appeared less sensitive to stimuli from the skin 
and was readily exhausted. In rabbits, it was found that the 
convulsions occurring in cocaine poisoning could be prevented 
by artificial respiration. 

In considering the action of any of the Coca alkaloids 
on man, it may be well to suggest that possibly one cause of 
conflicting testimony may have resulted from reporting the 
influence of the alkaloid upon animals, the effects of which are 
not always uniform with their action on man. In experiments 
upon animals those symptoms which follow doses full enough 
to create some outward sign are alone seen, while the agree- 
able exaltation such as would be experienced in man from a 
relatively much smaller dose can not be appreciated. A dose 
of cocaine which in one of the lower animals would cause de- 
pression, would under the controlling influence of a greater 
cerebral development in man occasion exhilaration, an effect 
probably resulting from inhibition of certain of the brain 
cells, thus inducing slight loss of co-ordination similar to that 
following a small dose of opium or alcohol. Both alcohol and 
opium seriously disturb the normal relations of one part of 
the brain with another, the nerve centers being paralyzed in 
the inverse order of their development. The primary ex- 
hilaration being succeeded by a narcotic action when the in- 
hibitory paralysis permits the . emotions full sway. Coca, 
however, appears to stimulate the brain by an harmonious 
influence on all the brain cells so the relation of its functions 
is not deranged. 

The action of cocaine has been placed midway between 
morphine and caffeine. In man the initial effect of Coca 
is sedative, followed by a rapidly succeeding and long con- 
tinued stimulation. This may be attributed to the conjoined 
influence of the associate alkaloids upon the spinal cord and 
brain, whereby the conducting powers of the spinal cord are 
more depressed than are the brain centers. In view of these 
physiological facts it is unscientific to regard strychnine as 
an equivalent stimulant to Coca or a remedy which may fulfill 



the same indications, as erroneously suggested by several cor- 
respondents. For immediate stimulation Coca is best ad- 
ministered as a wine, the mild exhilaration of the spirit giv- 
ing place to the sustaining action of Coca without depression. 
The action of Coca and cocaine, while similar, is differ- 
ent. Each gives a peculiar sense of well being, but cocaine 
affects the central nervous system more pronouncedly than 
does Coca, not as commonly presumed because it is Coca 
in a more concentrated form, but because the associate sub- 

THE MODERN CITY OF Cuzco. [See page 145.] 

stances present in Coca, which are important in modifying 
its action, are not present in cocaine. The sustaining influ- 
ence of Coca has been asserted to be due to its anaesthetic ac- 
tion on the stomach, 35 and to its stimulating effect on brain 
and nervous system. But the strength-giving properties of 
Coca, aside from mild stimulation to the central nervous 
system, are embodied in its associate alkaloids, which directly 
bear upon the muscular system, as well as the depurative in- 
fluence which Coca has upon the blood, freeing it from tjie 
products of tissue waste. The quality of Coca we have seen 
is governed by the variety of the leaf, and its action is in- 

35 Gazeau; 1870. 


fluenced by the relative proportion of associate alkaloids pres- 
ent. If these be chiefly cocaine or its homologues the influ- 
ence is central, while if the predominant alkaloids are coca- 
mine or benzoyl ecgonine, there will be more pronounced in- 
fluence on muscle. When the associate bodies are present in 
such proportion as to maintain a balance between the action 
upon the nervous system and the conjoined action upon the 
muscular system, the effect of Coca is one of general invigora- 

It seems curious, when reading of the marvelous proper- 
ties attributed by so many writers to the influence of Coca 
leaves, that one familiar with the procedure of the physiologi- 
cal laboratory should have arrived at any such conclusion as 
that of Dowdeswell, who experimented with Coca upon him- 
self. After a preliminary observation to determine the effect 
of food and exercise he used Coca "in all forms, solid, liquid, 
hot and cold, at all hours, from seven o'clock in the morning 
until one or two o'clock at night, fasting and after eating, in 
the course of a month probably consuming a pound of leaves 
without producing any decided effect." It did not affect his 
pupil nor the state of his skin. It occasioned neither drowsi- 
ness nor sleeplessness, and none of those subjective effects 
ascribed to it by others. "It occasioned not the slightest ex- 
citement, nor even the feeling of buoyancy and exhilaration 
which is experienced from mountain air or a draught of spring 
water." His conclusion from this was that Coca was without 
therapeutic or popular value, and presumed : "The subjective 
effects asserted may be curious nervous idiosyncrasies." 3 
This paper, coming so soon after the publication of a previous 
series of erroneous conclusions made by Alexander Bennett, 37 
created a certain prejudice against Coca. Theine, caffeine and 
theobromine having been proved to be allied substances, this 
experimenter proceeded to show that cocaine belonged to the 
same group. As a result of his research he determined that 
"the action of cocaine upon the eye was to contract the pupil 
similar to caffeine," while the latter alkaloid he asserted was a 
local anaesthetic; observations which have never been con- 

w Dowdeswell; 1876. 37 Bennett; 1873. 


firmed by other observers. In view of our present knowledge 
of the Coca alkaloids, it seems possible that these experiments 
may have been made with an impure product in which ben- 
zoyl-ecgonine was the more prominent base. However, the 
absolute error of Bennett's conclusions has been handed down 
as though fact, and his findings have been unfortunately 
quoted by many writers, and even crept into the authorita- 
tive books. Thus Ziemssen's Cyclopaedia, of the Practice of 
Medicine, which is looked upon as a standard by thousands 
of American physicians, quotes Bennett in saying : "Guaran- 
ine and cocaine are nearly, if not quite, identical in their ac- 
tion with theine, caffeine and theobromine." 38 The National 
Dispensatory refers to the use of Coca in Peru as being sim- 
ilar to the use of Chinese tea elsewhere as a mild stimulant 
and diaphoretic and an aid to digestion which are mainly 
the properties of coffee, chocolate and guarana, and Bennett 
is quoted to prove that the active constituents of all these pro- 
ducts: "Although unlike one another and procured from 
totally different sources possess in common prominent princi- 
ples, and are not only almost identical in chemical composi- 
tion, but also appear similar in physiological .action." 39 These 
statements, which are diametrically opposed to the present ac- 
cepted facts concerning Coca, are not merely a variance of opin- 
ion among different observers, but are the careless continuance 
of early errors, and suggest the long dormant stage in which 
Coca has remained, and has consequently been falsely repre- 
sented and taught through sources presumably authentic. 

As may be inferred from its physiological action, Coca as 
a remedial agent is adapted to a wide sphere of usefulness, and 
if we accept the hypothesis that the influence of Coca is to free 
the blood from waste and to repair tissue, we have a ready 
explanation of its action. 40 Bartholow says : 41 "It is probable 
that some of the constituents of Coca are utilized in the 
economy as food, and that the retardation of tissue-waste-is 
not the sole reason why work may be done by its use which 
can not be done by the same person without it." Stockmann 
considers that the source of endurance from Coca can hardly 

38 Vol. XVIII; p. 181. * National Dispensatory; 5 ed.; 1896. 
*> See page 371. 41 Bartholow, p. 467; 1885. 


depend solely upon the stimulation of the nervous system, but 
that there must at the same time be an economizing in the 
bodily exchange. An idea which is further confirmed by the 
total absence of emaciation or other injurious consequences in 
the Indians who constantly use Coca. He suggests that Coca 
may possibly diminish the consumption of carbohydrates by 
the muscles during exertion. If this is so, then less oxygen 
would be required, and there is an explanation of the influ- 
ence of Coca in relieving breathlessness in ascending moun- 

Prominent in the application of Coca is its antagonism to 
the alcohol and opium habit. Freud, of Vienna, considers 
that Coca not only allays the craving for morphine, but that 
relapses do not occur. Coca certainly will check the muscle 
racking pains incidental to abandonment of opium by an 
habitue, and its use is well indicated in the condition follow- 
ing the abuse of alcohol when the stomach can not digest food. 
It not only allays the necessity for food, but removes the dis- 
tressing nervous phenomena. Dr. Bauduy, of St. Louis, 
early called the attention of the American Neurological Asso- 
ciation to the efficiency of Coca in the treatment of melan- 
cholia, and the benefit of Coca in a long list of nervous or 
nerveless conditions has been extolled by a host of physi- 
cians. 42 Shoemaker, of Philadelphia, has advocated the ex- 
ternal use of Coca in eczema, dermatitis, herpes, rosacea, urti- 
caria and allied conditions where an application of the Fluid 
Extract of Coca one part to four of water lends a sedative ac- 
tion to the skin. The influence of Coca on the pulse and tem- 
perature has suggested its employment in collapse and weak 
heart as recommended by Da Costa, 43 and it has been favor- 
ably employed to relieve dropsy depending on debility of the 
heart, and for uraemia and scanty secretion of urine. In sea- 
sickness Coca acts as a prophylactic as well as a remedy. 
Vomiting of pregnancy may be arrested by cocaine admin- 
istered either by the mouth or rectum. In the debility of 
fevers Coca has been found especially serviceable, and in this 
connection Dr. A. R. Booth, of the Marine Hospital Service, 

See Sajous' Annual, Vol. V, A36; 1891. 43 Medical News, Dec. 13, 1884. 


at Shreveport, Louisiana, has written me that he considers co- 
caine one of the most valuable aids in the treatment of yellow 
fever. 44 [1] By controlling nausea and vomiting, [2] as a 
cardiac stimulant, [3] as a haBmostatic when indicated, [4] 
to hold in abeyance hunger, which at times would be intoler- 
able but for the effect of cocaine. One who has seen a yellow 
fever stomach, especially from a subject who has died from 
"black vomit," must have been impressed with the absolute 
impossibility of such an organ performing its physiological 
functions. Dr. Booth makes it an inflexible rule, never to al- 
low a yellow fever patient food by the mouth until convales- 
cence is well established. In cases of fine physique he has kept 
the patient without food for ten or twelve days, and in two 
cases fourteen and fifteen days respectively, solely by the judi- 
cious administration of cocaine in tablets by the mouth. Of 
two hundred and six cases of yellow fever treated in this man- 
ner there was not one relapse. A similar use is made of co- 
caine to abate the canine hunger of certain cases of epilepsy 
and insanity, as well as to appease thirst in diabetes. 

The Peruvian Indians employ Coca to stimulate uterine 
contractions and regard it as a powerful aphrodisiac. Leo- 
pold Casper, of Berlin, considers Coca one of the best of geni- 
tal tonics, 45 and many modern observers concur in this opin- 
ion. 40 Vecki 47 says that cocaine internally to a man aged fifty- 
six invariably occasioned sexual excitement and cheerfulness. 
The Homoeopaths who have long regarded Coca as a valuable 
remedy, employ Coca in sexual excesses, especially when de- 
pendent on onanism. Allen has given a "proving" of Coca 
that covers twelve pages, and Ilering's Materia Medica gives 
provings by twenty-four persons, and recommends Coca in 
troubles coming with a low state of the barometer. Hempel 
says : "I have found a remarkable aversion to exertion of any 
kind in consequence of nervous exhaustion frequently relieved 
with great promptness by Coca." But it is not my intention 
to here enumerate the various symptoms for which Coca is re- 
garded as a specific. I have only space to briefly suggest its 

44 Booth person, com.; Jan. 15, 1898. K L' Union Mcdicale du Canada, p. 443; 1890. 
"See also Hamilton, Virginia Med. Monthly; Oct. 1891. 4T Vecki; 1899. 



possible application as a remedy. A resume of the various 
conditions in which Coca has commonly been found service- 
able, and its relative employment as classified from the experi- 
ence of several hundred physicians, correspondents in this re- 
search, will be found tabulated in the appendix. Coca may 
be given in doses equivalent to one or two drachms of the 

COCA MAIDEN. [From a Drawing 6y Constant Mayer.'] 

leaves three or four times a day, either as an infusion or as a 
fluid extract or wine; the latter especially being serviceable 
for support in acute disease as well as an adjunct indicated 
in those conditions where its use may tend to maintain the 
balance of health. 

It is a noteworthy fact already referred to, that there has 
been no recorded case of poisoning from Coca, nor cases of 
Coca addiction commonly regarded as "habit." The cases 


of cocaine poisoning and addiction often sensationally reported 
are even open to grave doubt. The condition termed "cocaine 
habit" is not generally accepted by physicians, as shown in the 
specific report in the appendix. Certainly the very general 
use of cocaine as an anaesthetic has not resulted relatively in 
anything like the number of rare accidents from the use of 
chloroform and ether, and this fact must appear the more re- 
markable when it is appreciated that chloroform and ether are 
administered under skilled observation, while cocaine is com- 
monly employed by hundreds of thousands even millions 
of laymen, many of whom are absolutely ignorant of its prop- 

The use of any alkaloid should be with the appreciation 
that the factor of personal idiosyncrasy may exert an influ- 
ence to occasion irregular action. A case of fatal poisoning 
has been recorded against cocaine from as small a dose as 
two-thirds of a grain of the hydrochlorate given hypodermic- 
ally, and from twenty minims of a four per cent, solution 
(four-fifths of a grain) of the same salt injected into the ure- 
thra, and smaller doses it is asserted have produced alarming 
symptoms. On the other hand, numerous cases are recorded 
where excessive doses of the alkaloid have been continued for 
long periods without giving rise to serious trouble. A recov- 
ery is recorded after forty-six grains of cocaine had been 
taken into the stomach, and in one case twenty-three grains of 
cocaine was used hypodermically daily. 48 

Dr. William A. Hammond experimented upon himself by 
injecting cocaine subcutaneously. Commencing with one 
grain the dose was gradually increased until eighteen grains 
were taken in four portions within five minutes of each other. 
His pulse increased to one hundred and forty and became 
irregular. Five minutes after the last injection he felt 
elated and utterly regardless of surroundings, consciousness 
being lost within half an hour. The next morning n going 
to his study where the experiment had been performed he 
found the floor strewn with books of reference and the chairs 
overturned, indicating there had been an active mental and 

48 Mann; 1898. 


physical excitement. He had turned off the gas, gone up- 
stairs to bed, lighted the gas in his sleeping apartment and re- 
tired quite as had been his custom. At nine o'clock the fol- 
lowing morning he woke with a splitting headache, and ex- 
perienced considerable cardiac and respiratory disturbance, 
and for several days after felt the effects of his indiscretion by 
languor and indisposition to mental or physical exertion and 
difficulty in concentration of attention. He considered that 
eighteen grains of cocaine was nearly a fatal dose for him, and 
if he had taken it in one dose instead of within twenty min- 
utes it might have been disastrous. This experimenter did 
not observe any influence upon the ganglia at the base of the 
brain. There was no disturbance of sensibility, no anaesthesia 
nor hyperaesthesia, nor interference with motility except some 
muscles of the face, which were subject to slight twitching. 
There were no hallucinations. Dr. Hammond asserted that 
there is no such thing as a "cocaine habit." He had given 
cocaine to many patients, both male and female, and never 
had a single objection to the alkaloid being discontinued, not 
as much trouble in ceasing its use, in fact, as there would 
have been to give up tea or coffee, and nothing like so much 
as to have abandoned alcohol or tobacco. He personally used 
for a nasal affection, during four months, from sixteen to 
twenty grains a day, averaging about six hundred grains of 
cocaine a month, applied in solution to the mucous membrane 
of the nose. During this period he experienced slight mental 
exhilaration and some indisposition to sleep. Subsequently 
he used nearly eight hundred grains within thirty-five days. 
In each instance the drug was discontinued without the 
slightest difficulty. 49 

Dr. Caudwell, of London, experimented upon himself 
with both Coca and cocaine. He took increasing doses of 
fluid extract of Coca until two ounces were taken at a dose. 
From this he experienced giddiness with unsteadiness of 
gait, followed by sensations of mental and physical activity 
when it seemed any exertion could have been undertaken with- 
out difficulty. Under cocaine, in doses of one grain he ex- 

Hammond; 1887-88. 


perienced drowsiness, followed by sleep, and then persistent 
insomnia. Two and a half grains produced frontal headache, 
mental excitement and marked insomnia. Three grains after 
abstinence from food for twenty-four hours produced drowsi- 
ness, slight vertigo and wakef ulness with a sense of well being. 
On the following morning five grains produced giddiness with 
a supra-orbital headache and a sense of weight at the pit of 
the stomach, while the pupils were widely dilated, and there 
was inability for exertion. All unpleasant sensations follow- 
ing this experiment had passed in two hours, though dilatation 
of the pupils lasted for six hours. 50 Professor Bignon, of 
Lima, considers that the Peruvian Indians consume daily an 
amount of Coca which represents from thirty to forty centi- 
grammes [4.5 to 6. grains] of cocaine. He regards ten 
centigrammes of that alkaloid per day [1.5 grains] a good 
average dose for those unaccustomed to its use. The average 
initial dose of cocaine hypodermically should not exceed a 
quarter of a grain. Under a moderate dose of cocaine, the 
central nervous system is stimulated through a direct action 
on the nerve cells. There is psychic exaltation, with increased 
capacity for mental work, which passes off in a few hours and 
is followed by complete restoration to the normal condition 
without after depression. Indeed, whatever depression there 
may be precedes the exaltation. From larger doses, the me- 
dulla and the sensory columns of the spinal cord may be 
directly affected, but only after very large doses is there weak- 
ness and lassitude, and general anaesthesia can only follow 
from an excessive dose. 

Under a poisonous dose of cocaine there is an initial in- 
crease of respiration and of the heart beat, both of which soon* 
slow under the influence of paralysis of the vaso motor center, 
this effect of cocaine upon respiration and the circulation 
being similar to that from atropine. The pupils are widely 
dilated and do not respond to light. Involuntary movement 
of the muscles of mastication, as in chewing, and rotation of 
the head or body has been noted in animals. There may be 
epileptiform attacks, clonic convulsions or tetanus. The most 

^Caudwell; 1885. 


common symptoms of cocaine poisoning are those of profound 
prostration, with dyspnrea, pallor, cyanosis and sweat. When 
the drug has been taken by the stomach that organ should be 
evacuated and washed out, while in any case stimulants may 
be indicated, such as nitrite of amyl, ammonia, ether hypo- 
dermically, chloroform to check spasm of the respiratory 
muscles and even artificial respiration may be indicated. 
After the severe symptoms have passed chloral may be admin- 
istered. Both chloral and morphine are regarded as antago- 
nistic to cocaine. Recovery may take place even after a long 
period of unconsciousness. I was called in one case to a den- 
tist's office to resuscitate a patient after his careless injection 
of an unknown quantity of cocaine, and we labored over the 
subject eight hours before consciousness was restored. 

Mosso puts the lethal dose of cocaine at 0.03 per kilo- 
gramme, in animals, and in man it is probably less. Mann- 
heim, 51 from a collection of about a hundred cases of cocaine 
poisoning of which nine were fatal has determined that 
one gramme [15.43 grains], of the alkaloid may be consid- 
ered a fatal dose in man. A "cocaine habit," as already re- 
ferred to, is not generally accepted. Yet symptoms pre- 
sumably due to the excessive use of large doses of cocaine are 
described. These embrace frequency of pulse, relaxation of 
the arterial system, profuse perspiration, rapid fall of flesh 
and hallucinations of sight or feeling. 52 A peculiar symptom 
of chronic cocaine poisoning is that known as Magnan's symp- 
tom, after the name of the describer. It is an hallucination 
of sensation in which the patient complains of feeling a for- 
eign body under the skin. While other hallucinations are 
common from poisons this is said to be distinctive of cocaine. 

There is but one further feature in the physiological study 
of Coca that we have to consider, and that is the manner of its 
elimination from the body. From experiments of Dr. Helm- 
sing 53 it was long since determined that cocaine is very diffi- 
cult of detection in animal tissues. This may be appreciated 
when the important role which it is possible that Coca plays 

"Mannheim; 1891. !2 Obersteiner and Erlenmeyer; p. 483; 1896. 
M Thesis, Dorpat; 1886. 



in assimilation is considered. When taken into the stomach 
Coca soon disappears from the alimentary canal, being de- 
composed and gradually setting free the products to which its 
physiological action is due. As these several alkaloids are 
carried through the tissues, they enter into further chemical 
change whereby they are still further broken down, and only 
soon after the administration of a very large dose is it possible 
to recover the bases from the alkaline urine with benzoyl. 
Immediately after a poisonous dose of cocaine given to a cat 
there was found a distinctive reaction in the urine and blood, 
but a diminished dose gave after a longer interval only faint 
tracings, which gradually disappeared. 54 Because of this 
difficulty of detection the decomposition products of Coca, 
chiefly as ecgonine, are determined post-mortem by a process 
of assay. The comminuted tissue is mixed with two parts of 
acidulated alcohol and digested at 60 in a reflux condenser, 
the process being repeated with fresh alcohol and the nitrates 
evaporated to almost dryness. The residue is taken up with 
water, and the solution shaken out with ether, the residual 
concentrated liquid being precipitated with baryta and ex- 
tracted repeatedly with ether. The ethereal solution is then 
evaporated in a vacuum and the residue tested for the alka- 
loid. 55 

The fact that the Coca products are so thoroughly con- 
sumed in the body indicates the important influence these 
substances exercise in nutrition, the philosophy of which has 
been more fully detailed in other chapters. 

" Journ. Chem. Soc.; 1891. K Mussi; 1889. 



"Music, the greatest good that mortals know, 
And all of Heaven we have below." 

Addison, Song for St. Cecilia's Day; 

(about 1700.) 

O much has been written in regard to the action 
of Coca in voice production, that it may be 
said its praise and its effects have literally 
been sung. Its use has been so pronouncedly 
successful in the treatment of laryngeal 
troubles generally that it seems appropriate 
to say something as to the organs which gov- 
ern voice and of the application of Coca to 
their benefit. 

Darwin supposed the progenitors of the 
human race employed musical sounds before 
articulate language, for musical feeling is 
quite independent of speech, and so children 
are often able to sing before they can talk. 
The fact of this manifestation in childhood or among those 
not especially educated has suggested that musical expres- 
sion may be a separate sense which in some cases is phe- 
nomenally developed, while in others it remains dormant. 
Musical perception is found throughout the animal world, 



and Professor Owen describes among the apes of the family 
of gibbons, the rendition of a series of musical sounds, which 
in their shrill pitch of oa-oa ranges through one octave, the 
scale both upward and downward being sung in the same 

The untutored aboriginal peoples had a music of their 
own, which though differing in method belonged to the great 
family of sentiment. Whether of poet or peasant, music is 
the one universal language which appeals to the soul of all 
without the necessity for translation. We may trace its har- 
monies through the religion of the Hindus, the Chinese, 
the Japanese and the Incas during thousands of years. 
Subsequently it was developed by the Greeks, among whom it 
was used in the declamation of their epic poems, as was also 
the custom among the early Peruvians. Since these days the 
traditions of every nation have furnished examples of folk 
songs through their past antiquity. The Celts made great 
progress in these and were noted for their musical culture. 
The French have their chansons, the Italians their canzonetti, 
and the Germans have their volkslieder. The early Hebrews 
adapted their music from the Egyptians, though sacred his- 
tory tells us that Jubal was the father of all such as handle 
the harp and organ. 1 

There are many references throughout the Scriptures to 
the association of music with worship and also with ceremo- 
nial entertainment, and its influence on the emotions was 
recognized as soothing or inspiring in accordance with its ap- 
plication. Thus when Saul was troubled with an evil spirit, 
his servant sought out a cunning player on the harp who 
might cure him, and we learn with what success David played 
for his refreshment. 2 Singers are frequently spoken of in 
the Old Testament and all sorts of musical instruments are 
enumerated, such as the cornet, cymbals, dulcimer, harp, 
organ, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, tabret, timbrel, trumpet and 
viol, so that we should have to look further back to find the 
first traces of musical conception. 

Of the more crude instruments, the trumpet is frequently 

1 Genesis; IV., 21. 2 First Samuel; XVI., 14-23. 


mentioned in the sacred writings. Commonly this was em- 
ployed for signalling, and it was used among the Romans 
to proclaim the watches of the day and night. In the Meta- 
morphoses Ovid describes Jupiter when the world was over- 
flowed by the deluge as commanding Triton to blow his 
trumpet as a signal for the mighty waters to recede, and tradi- 
tion has ever pictured the vast and weird harmony of the sea 
as controlled by a god blowing through a shell, just as it has 
associated the proclamation of eternity with the trumpeting 
of the Angel Gabriel. Misenus, who was a trumpeter in the 

PERUVIAN CLAY TUIMPET. {.Metropolitan Museum of Art.] 

Trojan war, was so proud of his skill as to challenge the god 
of the waters to a contention for which his bravado was im- 
mortalized by Virgil : 

"But while the daring mortal o'er the flood 
Rais'd his high notes and challenged every god, 
With envy Triton heard the noble strain 
And whelmed the bold musician in the main." 

JEneid VI, 163. 

The shell trumpet has long been in use among the Peru- 
vian Indians ; the Spanish named it bosina, from the sound 
produced by blowing into it having a suggestive resemblance 
to the roar of a bull. The Indians use it for signalling and 
it is employed in their celebration of the festival of the Coca 
harvest, when its braying reaches far over the hills. 

From the use of music upon occasions of religious cere- 
monial it was but natural to associate it with all emotional 
functions, whether in times of reverential awe or during a 
period of danger as a means to divert fear. Thus battles were 
fought to the sound of the lute, or even the viol or harp, and 
we know with what utter abandon !N"ero fiddled away Rome, 


for music has ever been a natural accompaniment to passion- 
ate appeal or to the melancholy of despair. 

Professor W. Max Mueller has recently completed a col- 
lection of the ancient love songs of Egypt of forty centuries 
or more ago, in which though the poetry may seem strange, 
the feeling expressed is that of to-day, just as we find modern 
sentiment among the early Peruvian songs. The melodies of 
the Incas were composed in measured thirds and for the most 
part are written to celebrate amorous passions, expressive of 
joy, of sorrow, of kindness or the cruelty of some fair one 
to whom the enamored strains were poured forth. Some of 
these ancient airs are still sung among the Indians. One 
from Rivero's collection will serve to illustrate their melody 
which, tnough rambling and formless as compared to our 
musical ideas, is full of feeling. Of course it has been tran- 
scribed phonetically to the modern musical notation. 

Professor Louis Mounier, of Vineland, New Jersey, to 
whom I submitted this example, believes that its arrangement 
has been made by some musician acquainted with the classic 
style of the period in which Haydn, Mozart and the few 
French followers of the German school flourished. He says : 
"I should be very much surprised to find the rigid forms, 
from which Beethoven, Schumann and Wagner tried to 
escape, adhered to by people with an oriental turn of mind, 
or at least of a totally different civilization." Mr. Samuel 
Sosnowski, a finished pianist conversant with classic interpre- 
tation, regards this particular piece as suggesting the early 
Italian school, such as that of Scarlatti. In any case it ex- 
hibits a weird example of Peruvian melody considered to be 
aboriginal. (See page 440.) 

The Incas had regularly appointed musicians to the court 
who accompanied the haravis, or love songs, on the native 
Pandean pipes such as are still, in use throughout the Sierra. 
"The players were Indians, instructed for the amusement of 
the King and for the lords his vassals, and although their 
music was so simple it was not generally practiced, but was 
learned and done by study." 3 These pipes were made of 

s Garcilasso; 1609. 



ANCIENT INCAN HARAVI. [fituero and Tachudi.} 


joints of bamboo or from reeds of different lengths arranged 
in a row or in parallel pairs, forming a set with a scale of ten 
notes. Sometimes they were made of stone, and in the 
museum at Berlin there is a cast of such an instrument, the 
original having been made of a species of talc of greenish 
color. This example is five and three-eighth inches high and 
six and one-quarter inches wide, containing eight short pipes. 
Four of the pipes are stopped by small lateral finger holes 
opening on the second, third, fifth and seventh. When these 
holes are open the tones are raised half a tone, while the 
closed tubes have unalterable tones.* 

The Peruvians appear to have used different orders of 
intervals for different kinds of melodies, in a way similar to 
that in vogue among certain Asiatic nations. "Each poem, 
or song, had its appropriate tune, and they could not put two 
different songs to one tune ; and this was why the enamoured 
gallant, making music at night on his flute, with the tune 
which belonged to it, told the lady and all the world the joy 
or sorrow of his soul, the favour or ill-will which he pos- 
sessed ; so that it might be said that he spoke by the flute." 4 
In a similar manner the Hindus have certain tunes for cer- 
tain seasons and fixed occasions, and likewise a number of 
different modes, or scales, used for particular kinds of songs. 5 

Some of the Peruvian reed pipes are fastened together in 
sets of four, each reed being of different length, one set 
adapted for high notes, another for different notes of the scale, 
so that the four natural voices soprano, tenor, contralto and 
bass might be represented by four sets of reeds. When an 
Indian played on one of these instruments he was answered 
by some other Indian at a distance playing a fifth above, and 
these by another, who might rise to higher notes or descend 
the scale, but always in tune. In the musical collection of 
the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art there is shown a 
variety of Peruvian instruments, among which are a number 
of specimens of these pipes, some made with but a few reeds, 
others with twenty or more bound together. Some of these 
are in a double row arranged side by side, while others are in 

* See headpiece, p. 436. 'Garcilasso; p. 193; 1609. 5 Carl Engel; 1874. 


a single row of varying length, the pipes being either open or 
closed at the lower end. 

Besides the Pandean pipes the Incans had horns on which 
four or five notes might be made, as the flageolet, huayllaca, 
and the ccuyvi, while others only made one note, as the pin- 
cullu. Both of these instruments are still used among the 
Andean Indians. In addition to these the early Peruvians 
also had instruments known as the chhilchiles, and castanets 
chanares, timbrels, bells, huancar a drum, tinya a gui- 
tar of five or six chords, and the queppa a sort of oboe 
trumpet, which Rivero describes as emitting lugubrious 
sounds which fill the heart with an indescribable sadness 
capable of bringing involuntary tears into the eyes. This is 
probably the jaina, which is still used by some Indian tribes 
in Peru, and which was termed by the early Mexicans chayna. 
While these ancient instruments make seemingly crude music 
to refined ears they were probably effective in rendering the 
sort of melody the people desired, and their employment pre- 
sumably dates from a very early period. 

Castlenau discovered in an ancient Peruvian tomb a flute 
made of a human bone. It has four finger holes at its upper 
end and appears to have been blown into at one end like a 
horn. Two similar examples, each about six inches long, are 
in the British Museum. Each is provided with five finger 
holes ; one which is ornamented with some simple designs in 
black, has all the holes at its upper side and one of the holes 
is considerably smaller than the rest. This same construc- 
tion, still followed in the bone flutes of Guiana, was common, 
for Alonso de Ovalle, writing of the Indians in Chili, says : 
"Their flutes which they play upon in their dances are made 
of the bones of the Spaniards and other enemies whom they 
have overcome in war. This they do by way of triumph and 
glory for their victory. They make them likewise of bones 
of animals, but the warriors dance only to the flutes made of 
their enemies." This, however, was not an Incan custom, 
but may have been practiced among some savage Peruvian 
tribes. Garcilasso, writing some years after leaving Peru, 
said that in 1560 but five Indians in Cuzco played the flute 


well from any music book for the organ that might be placed 
before them. At present throughout the Sierra every arriero 
and herdsman plays upon the pipe, and that instrument is as 
much a portion of the every-day paraphernalia of the Indian 
in his lonely tramps over the mountains as is his pouch of 

Looking back for the inception of our modern music, it 
appears to have developed with the Church. In early days, 
before there \vas a method for recording melodies, they were 
preserved by oral tradition through ages just as were the 
Homeric poems and the \ 7 edas. The first attempt at musical 
notation long before the staff was employed consisted of 
the letters of the Greek alphabet, to which signs were added 
to indicate the inflection of the voice. Subsequently Koman 
letters and syllables were used, written in an undulating way, 
to show a rise and fall, without indicating fixed notes. In 
early manuscripts syllables are employed to represent the first 
six notes of our present scale. These were adapted from the 
lines of an ancient hymn to Saint John the Baptist, their first 
use being attributed to the Benedictine monk, Guido of 
Arezzo, in the eleventh century : 

Ut queant laxis .Resonare fibris 
Mira, gestorum famuli tuorum, 
/Solve polluti Lobii reatum. 

Sancte Johannes. 

Afterwards these syllables were altered by the Italian school 
to the present notation. These names do not indicate any 
certain pitch, but merely the fixed ratios ; once the first note 
or tonic is determined the others ascend in regular order. 

Franco, of Cologne, in the twelfth century is said to have 
been the first writer to systematize "measured music," desig- 
nating the length of notes, but division into bars and accent 
was not adapted until several centuries later. Before this, 
written music was described as of "perfect" or "imperfect 
time," and such ancient manuscripts are consequently found 
exceedingly difficult of transcription. 

The progress of music was earlier and greater in England 


than elsewhere, until its rise in Flanders in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when the Flemish established schools and gave impetus 
to the art in Germany and in Italy. But the greatest factor 
in the development of music was the Church, and as Rome 
was the ecclesiastical centre, musicians of all lands flocked 
there for study, where every effort was made at perfection in 
religious uses, authority and sanctification even being granted 
for the perpetuation by surgical means of the treble voice of 
youth throughout manhood. With the increase of learning 
music became an essential part of education, and among the 
knights in the age of chivalry skill in verse and a melody to 
"my ladye faire" was regarded as a fitting accompaniment to 
heroic exploits at arms. Such a race of knightly musicians 
were the minnesingers of Germany, who set so great value on 
the invention of new metre that he who produced one with a 
melody to suit it was called a meistet master, while he who 
cast his verse in a previously accepted metre, or adapted them 
to a known melody, was styled tondieb a tone thief. 

At the commencement of the sixteenth century the Madri- 
gal form of composition was introduced, constructed on the 
form of the canon and abounding in imitations of one part of 
the melody by another; this chiefly flourished in England, 
and later gave rise to the part-songs of Germany. At this 
period the oratorio originated from a simple arrangement of 
short hymns to the gradual development of a sort of religious 
drama, and the opera now sprang into life after its long dor- 
mant period since the early Greek tragedies. So great be- 
came the impetus to musical composition that musical instru- 
ments began to assume a new importance and were perfected 
in accordance with requirements of the composer or the skill 
of the performer, in which harmony began to be regarded as a 
greater factor than loudness. 

Luther has been credited with adapting metrical verse on 
sacred subjects to the language of the people. Sometimes 
these were set to ancient, church melodies, or again to tunes of 
secular songs, the object being to put the choral singing of the 
Church within the lips of the masses. Yet the psalmody of 

6 Macf arren ; 1885. 


the ancient Hebrews had been of a similar nature centuries 
before, when the doings of the people were recounted in song 
with the greatest poetic beauty, and a similar custom was 
practiced among the Incans. Indeed, it is remarkable how 
close some of the songs of the Incas are by comparison to the 
psalms of the Old Testament, not only in their metrical ar- 
rangement, but in form of expression, as for example with 
the Song of Solomon, that "Song of Songs." 

The great advance of orchestration during the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, the development of the symphony 
and opera elaborated through a host of phenomenal composers 
several of whom are accredited with having written every 
possible combination of notes has enabled a modern civiliza- 
tion to enjoy the refinement of the highest type of musical 
culture, beyond which further progress seems almost incred- 
ible. But that which concerns us chiefly in musical produc- 
tion is the formation of voice. 

Marin Mersenne explained in his universal harmony, in 
1G36, that the string of a musical instrument when struck 
yields other tones than that to which its entire length is tuned. 
Before then musical sound had been only a phenomenon of 
observation rather than of precise knowledge, but from this 
the science of harmonics and the laws of melody were evolved. 

If an open vibrating string be stopped at any part of its 
length its vibrations will be broken into quickened waves of a 
length equal to that of the first division. Thus, if a string be 
stopped at one-half its length there will be two equal waves, 
each vibrating twice as rapidly as the open string, or if 
stopped at one-third its length there will be three shorter 
waves, each vibrating three times as rapidly as did the un- 
stopped string, the vibrations increasing and giving forth a 
higher tone in proportion to the shortness of the waves. This 
same law is true of the sound produced from a column of air 
passing through a tube, and the influence of stopping the tube 
on the formation of notes is similar. The point of stoppage 
between the waves is termed a node and the swell of vibrating 
string between the nodes is termed a loop. The open string 
vibrating through its whole length gives a sound which is 



termed fundamental, while the sound produced from each of 
the nodal divisions originally known as a harmonic is 
termed a partial tone, or over-tone. This observation was 
almost immediately recorded by Dr. Cowley, who will be re- 
called as having written so charmingly of Coca : 

"Thus, when two brethren strings are set alike, 
To move them both, but one of them we strike." 

The Troubles of David. 

When the string of a musical instrument is sounded the over- 
tones are united in a complex wave with the fundamental 
tone. Just as periodicity in vibration distinguishes a musi- 
cal sound from a mere noise, so this harmonic blending of 
tones the Hang of the Germans distinguishes a note from 
a simple sound, and gives rise to the varied quality or timbre 
the klangfarbe of notes of the same pitch in different in- 

Harmony has been compared with color, through the ana- 
logy between the blending of the seven primary colors in their 
production of light and similar vibrations of the seven notes 
of the gamut in the production of tones ; but Helmholtz has 
shown that if the lavender rays beyond the violet in the spec- 
trum be included, light has an octave and a quarter instead of 
one octave. From this similarity of vibration it was long 
since suggested, as referred to by Dr. Haweis, 7 that a sym- 
phony might be reproduced in color. This experiment was 
done, I believe, by a priest in France some years since. 

Music is to be regarded then as due to rhythmical vibra- 
tion, whether this be produced through the chirp of insects or 
the roar of cataracts in the wide area of nature, or by a mere 
attempt to interpret through artifice those harmonies con- 
stantly displayed about us, for as was taught by Pythagoras 
two centuries and a half ago : 

"From heavenly harmony 
This universal frame began." 

Dryden, An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day; (1687.) 

Haweis; 1873. 


The organ of voice one of the greatest gifts to man is a 
natural instrument to which cleverness and skill may only 
hope to harmonize other musical instruments. And just as 
we have seen, there has been a gradual growth of musical ex- 
pression as the development of musical taste and knowledge 
was improved, so the singing voice has been slowly evolved 
with the scientific unfolding of the principles of tone forma- 
tion which has been marked by the elaboration of fixed means 
of musical expression. 

In a similar manner to that in which a vibrating string 
gives forth a note, the human voice produces tones by the 
vibration of two membranous folds really the ligamentous 
edges of two muscles. These are attached at their outer bor- 
ders, while their free margins pearly white in color are 
movable, and may be approximated or opened more widely, 
leaving a narrowed slit between, termed the rima glottidis, or 
"vocal chink." In the adult man these folds or vocal cords, 
are about three-quarters of an inch in length, and in women 
they are some quarter shorter, while situated on a higher 
plane. To this variation in size and position, as well as to a 
slight difference in the shape of the vocal box, is due the range 
and quality between the male and the female voice. The 
female voice has three registers, while the male voice has but 
two, though having the greater number of over-tones. 

The delicate cords which give rise to voice are within the 
larynx, a triangular cartilaginous box constituting the pro- 
tuberance in the neck known as "Adam's apple." This vocal 
box is between the pharynx above and the trachea below, sur- 
rounded by muscles and lyied with mucous membrane which 
is closely adherent to the vocal cords, and is continuous with 
that lining the entire respiratory tract. Because of this con- 
tinuity when any part of this membrane is diseased other 
parts of the respiratory tract may suffer. This indicates why 
applications to the cavity of the nose may improve voice, or 
why sipping Coca wine, as commonly advocated among vocal 
instructors, will give tone to the vocal cords although not act- 
ually coming in contact with them. 

The walls of the larynx are not rigid, and the two little 


elbow-like cartilages to which the cords are attached are so 
placed that they seemingly are pivoted at the angle upon 
which they swing and so may bring the cords parallel or ex- 
tend them wider apart. In quiet breathing the space between 
the cords is elliptical, or shaped like a narrow V, with the 
point of the V in front, the space opening a little at each in- 
spiration, while in a forced effort the V is bowed and widely 
dilated. At the moment of the emission of sound the "vocal 
chink" becomes narrowed by the pivoting of the cartilages, to 
which are attached the posterior ends of the cords, and by thus 
swinging about the edges of the vocal bands are approximated 
and made parallel. The result of this movement occasions a 
fixation and increased tension and the note rendered is of 
higher pitch, just as it would be from the string of any musi- 
cal instrument similarly made tense. 

Voice has pitch produced by the rapidity of vibration of 
the vocal bands, intensity of tone governed by the force of 
the expiratory blast of air, and timbre wholly an individual 
peculiarity dependent upon the number of over-tones accom- 
panying the fundamental, which is governed by the anatomi- 
cal construction and integrity of the parts involved in tone 
formation. The particular kind of voice being due neither to 
highness, lowness, nor loudness, but upon the length of the 
vocal cords and the distances of these from the upper resonant 
chambers the pharynx, mouth and nose each of which 
serves as a factor of individual quality. Vocal gymnastics is 
not music. Patti is recalled by her clear tones in the middle 
register, a quality more greatly admired by musical critics 
than would be the endurance displayed by the Salvation 
Army adjutant who is recorded as singing fifty-nine hymns in 
fifty-eight minutes. 

The normal compass of the voice is some two octaves, the 
principal difference between registers being one of pitch, occa- 
sioned by the anatomical peculiarities of the individual lar- 
ynx. The lowest note of the average female voice is about an 
octave higher than the lowest of the male voice, while the 
highest note of the female is an octave above the top note of 
the male. The average bass voice ranges from f (176) to d 


(594), though some famous basses even take the low c of the 
cello, and Bastardella is said to have sung notes vibrat- 
ing from forty-four to one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty. 8 Composers have often written for certain phenom- 
enal singers, thus Meyerbeer in "Robert le Diable" (1831), in 
"Les Huguenots" (1833) and "Le Prophete" (1849) wrote 
b flat for the bass voice. A good soprano ranges from 
fc (495) to g (1584), and Nilsson used to take / (2816) in 
"The Magic Flute." Mozart is said to have heard at Parma, 
in 1770, an Italian songstress whose voice had the extraordi- 
nary range from g (396) to c (4224), three and a half oc- 
taves. 9 But these are the exception and not the rule. A 
phenomenally high range among voices of the present day is 

r EM * LE ' cc^LTo^^^- ;: r : j :: jy7{J'j'^; r ^ 






that of Miss Yaw, which reaches the second d above the staff, 
a compass due to an unusual arrangement of the vocal cords. 
There are sounds too grave and too acute for perception by 
the human ear. Helmholtz's investigations show that from 
thirty to forty vibrations per second are the lowest ordinarily 
audible and thirty-eight thousand are the highest. Other 
experimenters have varied a little to either extent of these 
limits. The generality of vibrations which are musical range 
from forty to four thousand, while an average of human 
voices would indicate a range from fifty to one thousand eight 
hundred. Among all voices the classic sopranos seem to have 
an advantage in number: Albani, Calve, Eames, Gadsky, 
Juch, Melba, Wordica and Sembrich whom I have pur- 
posely enumerated alphabetically, reserving for my readers a 
classification in accordance with individual ideas of great- 

8 Browne and Behnke; 1886. Mfcrtin; p. 603; 1881. 



ness are not paired by modern tenors of equal prominence. 
Among some of the great tenors of the past are Rubini, Mario, 
Duprez, Wachtel, Campanini, Ravelli, Gayarre, and Massini. 
Tamberlik was regarded as the most famous tenor, basing 
that indication upon the reach of voice in pure chest tones of 
the upper register. 

Chest tones are produced by sending forth the breath in 
such manner that in its passage it sets up a vibration of the 
entire length of the vocal cords while not striking against any 
part of the vocal tract which would alter the resultant tone. 
Head sounds are made by directing the breath towards the 
frontal sinus, and throat sounds always faulty, are occa- 
sioned by pressing the tongue backwards or against the lower 
part of the mouth instead of keeping it suspended and a little 
forward. Nasal sounds are produced by forcing the breath 
through the cavities of the nose, a habit which some teachers 
check by compelling vocalization while the nose is pinched in 
such manner that the breath cannot escape through that organ. 

The highest tones of the chest are very strong, while the 
first head tones are soft and even feeble, and one object in cul- 
ture is to strengthen the latter and soften the former, that the 
sounds of one register may glide imperceptibly into those of 
the other, though the chest notes of bass voices are too strong 
to smoothly blend with those of the head. To form the voice 
it is desirable to sing on the vowel a vocalizing as it is 
termed, which exposes errors which might be masked if an at- 
tempt were made to utter words. In singing not only musi- 
cal tones are to be produced, but these must be accompanied 
by words, the articulation of which occasions such a series of 
movements in the muscles of the tongue, soft palate and lips 
as to considerably influence the character of the tube through 
which voice is sent forth. Because of these technical diffi- 
culties there is a need for proper instruction and training, 
for while science has done much to point out the basis of voice 
production the rational cultivation of the singing voice is an 
art which cannot be elaborated through any fixed rules. 

Though voice is the essential element in the art of singing, 
yet it does not always reach that quality naturally in all who 


wish to sing; indeed, there are many virtuosi in whom it 
would have been impossible to have foretold any vocal achieve- 
ments, either from an examination of their vocal cords or 
from a conclusion based upon their earlier opportunities. 
Wachtel, of high c fame, was originally a cab driver ; Sellier, 
of the Paris Opera, was a sailor, and, without knowledge of 
music, was compelled to learn his pieces by ear, and Campa- 
riini was a blacksmith before his qualities were developed. 
Rossini used to say it takes three things to make a singer: 
"voce, voce, voce" voice, voice, voice, but Francesco Lam- 
perti, the famous maestro, said it required "voce, talento e 
criterio" voice, talent and judgment. The great Garcia 
told Jenny Lind that of one hundred qualities which consti- 
tute a great singer, one who has a good voice has ninety-nine. 
The foundation of voice, however, must be a proper physical 

It seems surprising that any one with a sufficient knowl- 
edge to understandingly follow musical instruction should be 
mistaken as to their vocal register. The voice of each person 
is dependent upon the anatomical one might almost say me- 
chanical, construction of their larynx and vocal cords. It 
would be just as sensible for one to ordinarily attempt to give 
a violin solo on a double bass viol as for one with a bass voice 
to attempt to sing tenor. But as "there is no new thing under 
the sun," this has been attempted. Bottesini, a celebrated 
Italian player, used to charm his auditors by the exquisitely 
soft tones of his bass viol in imitation of the violin. Yet 
this is not an example within the rule. But I would impress 
that register is not a matter of individual choice nor 
cleverness in technique. A soprano is such because her vocal 
apparatus has been made for a soprano voice and it would be 
wholly impossible to make her a contralto through any natu- 
ral means. Mistakes of a misplaced voice are, however, of 
frequent occurrence, not only among those who are unedu- 
cated in music but among those who are artists. The princi- 
ples of the voice are so mysterious, says Stephen de la Made- 
laine, 10 that it is easy to mistake not only the nature of the 

10 Reclus; 1895. 



voice but the voice itself. Specialism has so divided all teach- 
ing that there are now masters who devote themselves exclu- 
sively to voice placing, which is recognized as a pre-requisite 
to any attempts at vocal culture. Tamberlik was at first a 
tenor serio, but after a stay in Portugal his voice changed and 
became much higher, when he was classed as tenor sfogato. 
It is said that Jean de Reszke, the famous tenor, was at one 
time almost equally famous as a baritone until the error of 
register was shown, when his voice was cultivated as a tenor. 
There are some artists who have so phenomenal a range that 
their voice overlaps both above and below into other registers. 
Madame Scalchi is the possessor of such an organ, and while 
nominally a contralto, her voice seems to command the entire 
scale from a deep bass to high soprano, which she pours forth 
in a peculiar richness. 

Knowledge, exercise, and cultivation will bring out the 
most favorable qualities of the voice, and will improve those 
factors which may have remained dormant through improper 
use, just as any musical instrument may be more artistically 
manipulated by a skilled performer. But just as it would be 
impossible to add additional notes to an instrument of fixed 
tones, so it is even more impossible to add one note either to 
the high or low register of the voice. I once listened to a 
young man attempting to sing a tenor solo which he struggled 
with in a very strained and unnatural way, who when asked, 
did not know the range of his voice, which a trial proved to be 
bass of little power. Upon surprise being expressed that he 
should attempt to sing tenor songs with a bass voice, he said : 
"My brother sings bass ; I want to sing tenor." Register is 
dependent upon the range of pitch of the chest tones and mis- 
takes of register are dependent upon a false rendition, so that 
strained and throaty tones are produced, or even those which 
are falsetto, occasioned by some mal-position of the cords, or 
by a vibration of merely their anterior ends instead of their 
entire length. 11 

The direct influence of Coca upon the mucous membrane 
of the larnyx long since gave it importance as a tensor of the 

"Vacher; 1877. 


vocal cords, 12 and in throat troubles generally it has received 
a wide application among professional singers and speakers. 
It is used as a tonic to the mucous membrane 13 and to render 
tone more clear, 14 giving an improved quality to the upper 
voice, 15 as well as to sustain tone. 16 Several correspondents 
report the beneficial action of Coca in aphonia, 17 a result that 
has been attributed to general improvement of -health follow- 
ing its use. 18 

One of the most pronounced influences of Coca is its 
power upon respiration. In considering this action, it may 
be well to briefly review the anatomical and physiological fac- 
tors engaged in this function. 

The air in its entrance to the lungs passes the larynx and 
through the trachea or windpipe. The latter, after its en- 
trance into the chest divides into the right and left bronchial 
tube, and each of these divides again into two, and still again 
and again until the smallest terminations are reached, which 
end in minute sacculated dilatations kno\vn as air cells. These 
delicate little pouches which might represent a cluster of 
bubbles blown at the end of a minute tube are so extremely 
small that one hundred and twenty-five of them would go 
within the space of an inch, and upon, the thin epithelial wall 
composing these the finest capillaries are distributed as a net- 
work of blood vessels. 

The function of respiration is purification of the blood by 
an interchange of gases ; in the lungs this occurs directly 
through the walls of the air cells, oxygen being introduced at 
each inspiration and carbonic acid being carried off as a pro- 
duct of combustion at each expiration. The oxygen of the 
air is taken up by a crystallizable element of the blood known 
as hcemoglobin, which is carried by the red corpuscles, and 
thus the circulation is enabled to convey this purifying gas to 
the various tissues of the body, where in the thin-walled capil- 
laries another interchange of gases takes place. 

In the lungs oxygen is added to the blood stream and car- 
bonic acid is given off. In the other organs of the body car- 

12 Fauvol; also Collective Investigation; 511. See Appendix. 

13 Idem; 143, 289, 366, 563, 593, 658, 1131. ^ Idem ; 311. 15 Idem; 148, 537. 

19 Mem; 274, 1074. 17 Idem; 339, 365, 982. "> Idem; 629. 


bonic acid is added to the blood and the oxygen is given off to 
the tissues, while the venous blood charged with waste matter 
is sent to the lungs for purification through healthful respira- 
tion. This illustrates why as more waste material is thrown 
out from the tissues during exertion the necessity for respira- 
tion increases, because of an increased call upon the blood for 
a purifying influence. It also emphasizes the necessity for a 
constant supply of pure air to replace that which has been 
breathed, and as combustion of any sort whether by fire or 
respiration consumes oxygen, this should be regarded when 
considering appropriate ventilation. The drowsiness and 
feeling of fatigue experienced when on a shopping tour in 
stores which are crowded, and similar feelings of lethargy and 
tire suffered in assemblies, are but illustrations of the neces- 
sity for a purer air. The condition is allied to that of bodily 
fatigue occasioned when the blood is loaded with waste 
material. It is not that expired carbonic acid gas is alone 
poisonous, but when in addition the air is filled with organic 
substances resulting from the excretion of countless tissues or 
the volatile exhalations from decomposing particles of food, 
there should be no surprise at headache or sore throat. 

The mechanical act of respiration is eminently a muscular 
one, of considerable effort though nominally performed un- 
consciously. The cycle being put in action involuntarily by a 
double nerve centre supposedly situated in the medulla ; nor- 
mally automatic in its action, though, it is capable of being 
influenced through the will and of being excited reflexly. 
This centre is stimulated by a venous condition of the blood, 
under which it may become so active as to excite the extraordi- 
nary muscles of respiration. Such labored breathing due 
to deficient aeration of the blood is called dyspnoea; while, if 
the blood be too highly charged with oxygen, as may occur in 
artificial respiration, the centre is not stimulated, and breath- 
ing ceases under the condition termed apncea. The cycle, or 
rhythm of respiration, consists of inspiration, expiration and 

The number of respirations in one resting quietly varies 
greatly and it is difficult to fix a fair average, the frequency 




being greater in children than in adults. For a healthy adult 
at rest the normal may be from fourteen to eighteen per min- 
ute. This has been found to correspond relatively to the 
pulsations of the heart in the ratio of about one to four. In 
cases of diseased lungs the respiratory act increases beyond 
this proportion, while in affections in which the heart is more 
directly influenced the pulse relation becomes more rapid. 
An exact control of the respiratory muscles is of decided ad- 
vantage to the best vocal effort, though it should be recalled 
that the breath must be delivered to the larynx in a quantity 
sufficient merely to set the vocal cords in appropriate vibra- 
tions, any excessive effort occasioning the fault known as 
"breathiness." When the abdominal organs are distended 
there is necessarily an oppression in the chest, because the dia- 
phragm is not afforded a free opportunity for descent. It is 
spasm of this muscle which constitutes the annoying factor in 
the sudden inspirations of hiccough, sobbing and laughing. 

Each portion of the respiratory tract is liable to its par- 
ticular derangement, the most common of which results from 
the congestive trouble commonly termed catching cold. In 
the upper tract this condition is frequently manifest through 
annoying catarrhal troubles, probably resulting from a per- 
sistent relighting of chronic local derangement in the nose or 
throat, or from an acute congestion. As a consequence the 
mucous membrane is swollen and gives out an increased secre- 
tion, a condition which may even be conveyed through contin- 
uity of tissue to the larynx or bronchial tubes. Here the 
effect of Coca is marked in lessening the profuse secretion by 
constringing the blood vessels, while the muscular system is 
toned to favor repair. 

When the malarial-bone-racking accompaniment of in- 
fluenza known as grip raged, Coca was found the most service- 
able supporter of the organism during an attack. The use 
of a grog made from "Vin Mariani" and hot water taken at 
bed time was recommended abroad by Dr. H. Libermann, sur- 
geon-in-chief of the French army, and in the United States 
bv Dr. Cyrus Edson. 19 Personally, I advocate in this affection 

"Edson; p. 39, 1891. 


quinine combined with phenacetine three grains of each, 
repeated at intervals of two or three hours, with at the same 
time a tablespoonful to a wineglassful of the wine already 
mentioned. Quinine has a very depressing influence upon 
many patients and is apt to check the flow of bile as well. 
Coca, on the other hand, is mildly laxative, and while further- 
ing the action of the antifebrile remedies, it antagonizes the 
disease, buoys the patient and serves as a nutrient when food 
and even a milk dietary is distasteful. When the acute con- 
dition has passed the Coca wine used less frequently may 
wholly replace other medication, checking the fearful inci- 
dental despondency and toning up the patient to recovery. 

Asthma is an exceedingly unfortunate affliction which 
may exhibit no local signs between the attacks. It is occa- 
sioned by a spasm of the minute tubes set up reflexly either by 
trouble in the upper air passages, or wholly from a nervous in- 
fluence, and an attack is often precipitated by worry or some 
unusual nervous strain. The source of trouble is well pre- 
vented by the judicious use of Coca, not only acting benefi- 
cially upon the mucous membrane, but through a sedative in- 
fluence upon nervous tissue and as a tonic support to the mus- 
cular system generally. 

A cough may have its seat in the trachea, the explosive 
manifestation being an effort to clear the tract of some for- 
eign body, which may be either simply the swollen mucous 
membrane or the excessive secretion from its congestion. The 
deeper such a trouble is carried along the respiratory tract the 
more serious it is, whether a bronchitis affecting only the 
larger tubes, or a more profound catarrh of the smaller ones 
intimately associated with the air cells capillary bronchitis 
or a congestion of the air vesicles themselves, when their 
capacity is encroached upon by the products thrown out by 
inflammation, as in pneumonia. In phthisis so destructive is 
the prolonged consuming congestion that several of these air 
cells may be broken together and coalesce as one cavity. 

An appropriate method of breathing, while absolutely 
necessary to the professional singer or speaker, is desirable to 
improve the organism generally. Commonly we are apt to 


breathe too shallow, and in such cases a sort of respiratory 
gymnastics is desirable. Such an exercise may best be taken 
standing, with the clothing loosed. The breath should now be 
drawn in slowly and the chest gradually expanded to its 
full capacity, the shoulders being raised to admit of 
every available space in the lungs being filled with air. 
After a_short retention the breath may be permitted to escape 
slowly. Then, after a few ordinary respiratory movements, 
another enforced respiration should be taken, and so on dur- 
ing a period of ten minutes, the exercise being repeated two or 
three times each day. By such a method lungs of moderate 
capacity may be cultivated to breathe more deeply, and 
enabled to maintain a tone from twenty to thirty seconds. 
All sorts of devices have been designed to entertain the patient 
while bringing about this result, one of which is a little tube 
which is blown into. In doing this the lungs are emptied by 
an enforced expiration, which necessitates an increased in- 

This breathing exercise may well be done while counting 
mentally and uniformly so many seconds for an inspiration, so 
many while the breath is held, and so many counts during the 
period of expiration. While at commencement the respira- 
tory cycle may not be prolonged to exceed ten or twelve sec- 
onds, after a short practice the time may be doubled. The 
rationale of all exercise is to make breathing deeper and so to 
purify the blood and tissues. It is, therefore, desirable that 
all exercise shall be taken where the air is comparatively 
pure. I commonly instruct my patients to accustom them- 
selves to deep breathing during their out-of-door walks, select- 
ing a given point up to which the inspiration is taken and an 
equally distant point up to, which the breath is slowly let out. 
With such a guide there is often an incentive to perform the 
exercise properly. Professional singers well understand the 
importance of this quality of deep breathing and of the con- 
trol of a supply of wind in the bellows as in this instance we 
may term the accessory apparatus of the lungs which may 
gradually be let out to excite the vocal bands to vibration, and 
some phenomenal renditions have been related of great capa- 



city. The tenor Gunz is said to have been able to take suffi- 
cient air at one inspiration to sing all of Schumann's "The 
Rose, the Lily," and an Italian songstress is mentioned who 
could trill up and down the chromatic scale through two oc- 
taves with one breath. 

Artists who appreciate the importance of a sound body in 
order to render desirable tones take especial care to carry out 
a line of general exercise which, while improving the phy- 
sique, may be recreative. Following the idea that work, not 
idleness, is the more restful, a change of occupation is sought, 
and the same impulse which led Gladstone to tree chopping 
for his rest has prompted several prominent singers to stock 
farming. Professional singing is not the dreamy, idle life 
which the poetry of music suggests, but calls forth all the pow- 
ers of a sound organism. Indeed, the exertion, and conse- 
quent exhaustion of both nerve and muscle, is greater than 
commonly supposed in all prolonged use of the voice, either in 
singing or speaking. Meyerbeer was termed a voice breaker 
as far back as 1837, since his day the task of such artists 
as sing the Wagnerian music is really phenomenal, and 
they deserve credit as noble examples of endurance quite as 
much as for their cultivated rendering of harmony. It is 
not unusual for singers to break down physically, so the pro- 
fessional singer's care is constantly excited to the preservation 
of health. A story is related of a lady who went to Bayreuth 
to rehearse under Wagner the part of one of the flower girls 
in "Parsifal." The great composer told her to sing the high 
note loud and take the next deep note, which immediately fol- 
lowed, from the chest. She replied : "Why, Meister, if I do, 
I will have no voice left in two years," to which it is said Wag- 
ner replied: "Well, do you expect to sing any longer than 

From the particular strain put upon the vocal organs 
through prolonged periods there is a constant liability among 
those who use their voice in such a way, to "relaxed throat" 
and hoarseness, and this, with tonsillitis and sore throat, which 
may be prompted by either a climatic change or any personal 
indiscretion, is the bete noire of the professional singer and 


speaker. Perhaps greater prominence has been given Coca 
preparations for the treatment of such functional derange- 
ments of the throat and voice than its application to any other 
use. Years before cocaine came into general utility Dr. 
Charles Fauvel, of Paris, directed attention to the importance 
of Coca for laryngeal troubles, while its use was speedily ad- 
vanced in England by Dr. Morell Mackenzie and in the 
United States by Dr. Louis Elsberg, the father of American 
laryngology. Both of these gentlemen were in the clinic of 
Fauvel, and their methods were soon adopted by a host of skill- 
ful workers. Among those quoted as having used' Coca suc- 
cessfully in laryngeal troubles are Lennox Browne, Beverley 
Robinson, Jarvis, H. H. Curtis, E. Fletcher Ingals, Solis 
Cohen, Sajous, Bosworth, Rice, and a host of other prominent 
laryngologists. 20 As has been shown, however, the effect of 
Coca is not in any sense merely a local one, but systemic, and 
its benefit is wholly dissimilar to that resulting from the 
topical application of cocaine, for Coca not only acts as a puri- 
fier of the blood, but through this influence as a nerve and 
muscle tonic. 21 This is exhibited through the empirical use 
of Coca long resorted to in mountain climbing. 

The condition termed mountain sickness, experienced by 
travelers in high altitudes, is commonly supposed due to 
defective oxygenation of the blood. M. Jourdanet some 
years since explained that as there is less weight of oxygen in 
each inspiration the blood suffers from impoverishment ex- 
actly the same as though its percentage of red corpuscles had 
been reduced. Added to this difficulty is the intense cold and 
the bodily heat is used up more rapidly than the organism can 
supply it. M. Paul Bert more recently is of the opinion that 
man ordinarily inhales more oxygen than he actually re- 
quires, and just as one may accustom himself to a diet below 
that ordinarily consumed, so at the expense of some tempo- 
rary suffering he could exist without the amount of oxygen 
normally taken. He has proposed an acclimating period, 
united with cultivating the number of red corpuscles, whereby 

20 Sajous' Annual, Vol. V, A35: 1891. 

21 Santa; 1891. See also Collective Investigation, in Appendix. 


their capacity for absorbing a larger relative amount of oxy- 
gen is increased. 22 In this he has been supported by some 
experiments of Mosso, who has explained that the condition is 
due to a chemical influence upon the nerve centres, and sug- 
gests that cocaine in small doses increases the chemical pro-- 
cesses of the body and augments respiration. 23 This is in full 
accord with our knowledge of the practical uses of Coca among 
the Andeans, united with facts of modern physiology. 

The severity of mountain sickness is well illustrated 
through a recent attempt of Mr. Edward A. Fitz Gerald to 
reach the highest point of the Andes, at Aconcagua, twenty- 
three thousand and eighty feet above the sea, in the Argentine 
Republic; though an experienced Alpine traveller, he was 
obliged to abandon this feat himself and to be content with 
such laurels as he might reap through sending his Swiss guide, 
Zurbriggen, over the peak. Fitz Gerald was completely over- 
come when a few hundred yards from the top, beyond which it 
was impossible for him to proceed, through the severity of 
symptoms occasioned in the rarefied atmosphere. He says : "I 
tried more than once to go on, but was only able to advance 
two or three steps at a time and then had to stop, panting for 
breath, my struggles alternating with violent fits of nausea. 
At times I would fall down, and each time had greater diffi- 
culty in rising ; black specks swam across my sight ; I was like 
one walking in a dream, so dizzy and sick that the whole 
mountain seemed whirling round with me." 2 

The symptoms of mountain sickness often present them- 
selves suddenly and without premonition. The guides com- 
monly advise those unaccustomed to high altitudes not to go 
to sleep at night, for often the most oppressing symptoms oc- 
cur, when the organism is lowered during sleep, and one will 
awaken as from a horrible nightmare, gasping for breath in 
terrible apprehension. The Indians prepare a Coca tea, 
which they administer for this condition. It affords relief 
that is so' instantaneous as to appear magical, and accepting 
the inference of Mosso that the cause of mountain sickness is 
of a chemico-nervous origin, there is a further suggestion that 

^Whymper; 1892. Mosso; 1890. 24 Fitz Gerald; 1899. 



whether the condition combated be muscular tire, nerve ex- 
haustion from worry, or a physical incapacity due to chemical 
changes in the blood, the action of Coca is depurative. 

It is a modern scientific theory that most functional de- 
rangements are due to a loading up of impurities from the 
blood or stored in the tissues, which have originated from a 
long-continued impropriety in living, and are made manifest 
through some aggravating indiscretion. If the hypothesis 
be true that Coca frees the blood of products of waste, this 
affords ample explanation of properties attributed to Coca 
which have hitherto appeared phenomenal, and its wide- 
spread usefulness and seemingly contradictory action over a 
host of apparently dissimilar conditions may be well under- 
stood. Whether the relief sought be for a simple vocal strain, 
for rheumatism, or for mountain sickness, nervous irritabil- 
ity or muscular fatigue, the conditions are of common origin. 
Coca simply makes better blood and a healthy blood makes 
healthy tissue. 



"Each Leaf is Fruit, and such substantial Fare, 
No Fruit beside to rival it will dare." 


URING the ages that Coca has been 
employed, its use as a source of energy 
and endurance without other means 
of subsistence, long since gave rise 
to the problem whether Coca can 
rightly be considered a food. As- 
sociated with this thought, there has 
apparently been suggested to the 
minds of some a name of similar 
sound of more common usage. The 
mention of Coca in a food connection 
has at once recalled to them cocoa 
and chocolate, which, though often 
components of an excellent dietary, 
are in no manner whatever related to 
Coca even by the most distant ties of 
kinship. This similarity of names 

has occasioned amusing errors, some of which are related 

without reflection on their authors to impress the distinction. 

Cocoa is prepared from the roasted seeds of the palm 

Theobroma Cacao, Linn., an ancient tree of tropical America, 



the product of which was early introduced by the Spaniards 
to the Old World. It belongs to the order Sterculiacece, of 
which the African kola (Sterculia), is a relative. The 
name cocoa has been adapted from the less euphonious specific 
term cacao of the genus Theobroma, while chocolate which 
is prepared from cacao is a word of Mexican derivation, 
from choco cacao, and latl water, referring to its prepara- 
tion as a beverage. From cocoa there is obtained an active 
principle present in the proportion of about two per cent. 
This, first described by Woskresensky in 1845, was named 
theobromine, and though not identical, has been found closely 
allied to caffeine. From phonetic semblance Coca has been er- 
roneously associated with cocoa or with the coconut, just as 
these latter two have been misquoted by the unthinking. Thus 
Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary published in 1755, confounded 
them, as emphasized in the following quotation which he has 
given under cocoa : 

"Amid those orchards of the Sun, 
Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl, 
And from the palm to draw its freshening wine!" 

Thomson, Seasons, (Summer); line 677. 

Those who have followed the history of Coca, and the 
story of the gradual unfolding of its leaves to usefulness, may 
express a cunning surprise that so careless a confusion of 
terms is possible. Some may consider that such knowledge is 
purely technical and hardly to be expected of the laity, yet 
very many of the medical profession are apparently among 
those who are uninformed. To an exceedingly large class 
Coca means simply chocolate, while the coconut is errone- 
ously regarded as belonging to the same botanical group. 
Certain knowing ones there are who appreciate that cocoa 
seeds yield chocolate ; yet among these some few are content 
in a belief that the leaf of the cocoa plant is the Coca chewed 
by the Andean Indians. It is hardly to be expected that 
physicians, who are commonly regarded as well informed, 
would continue an ignorance on this subject, in view of the 
very wide interest awakened by the application of cocaine. 


In spite of the antiquity of centuries, the fact remains 
that Coca is not well known. This has been emphasized in 
the present inquiry. That this is not a mere apparent error, 
through hasty or illegible orthography, may be assured from 
the fullness of certain replies. Some of these, after describ- 
ing the physiological action and therapeutic uses of Coca, 
have displayed a confusional state of knowledge by saying 
they have used some preparation of breakfast cocoa in place of 
tea or coffee at meals, or in greater detail have said : "I never 
use the liquid preparations I prefer chocolate." One en- 
thusiast, from a personal examination of cocoa with a micro- 
scope, pronounced "it free from adulteration," and another 
busy practitioner who uses "the ordinary cocoa of commerce 
for drinking at the table," and to whom some vague recollec- 
tions of former readings has entwined the change of Coca by 
age with an awe inspiring potency of its active principle, s'ays : 
"It should be seen to that it is fresh ; age causes it to deterio- 
rate," and concludes : "It is a dangerous remedy, which should 
be used with caution." One has answered my physiological 
question : "From memory, of the personal effects from the use 
of sweet chocolate." Another really kindly disposed gentle- 
man regrets: "The great diversity of opinion regarding the 
effects in the application of the medicine," and as an explana- 
tion of his own neglect cites as illustration : "I am very un- 
pleasantly affected by coffee or tea, presumably by caffeine. 
It depresses my heart's action and delays digestion. Ordi- 
narily breakfast coffee for two mornings makes my pulse in- 
termit ; strong tea the same. Cocoa or chocolate is something 
worse. It does not digest, causing unpleasant eructations 
and a heavy, sour feeling in my stomach. Most people like 
cocoa, or especially chocolate, and prefer it when ill to coffee. 
From personal dislike I never recommend it and have never 
investigated the good qualities ascribed to it." 

Amidst such a jumble resulting from an investigation 
among those especially educated to be observers it seems 
easier to believe with what seriousness the article was written 
some few years ago on Cocoa and Cocaine., a title which 
might be overlooked as a typographical error were it not for 


the statement that "cocoa contains two alkaloids, theobromine 
and cocaine/' 1 while a further muddle is possible through the 
recent introduction of a cocoa preparation by an English firm 
called "Cocoaine." There is always confusion unavoidable 
in the gradual evolvement of any remedy to usefulness ; in the 
present instance this has not been confined to any one depart- 
ment, but has extended through each branch of research from 
the doings of the early Spanish historians to the botanists, the 
chemists, physiologists and physicians. 

All the accounts of the early writers of Andean travel in- 
dicate that Coca has a phenomenal effect upon endurance, so 
great, indeed, that many of these accounts have been regarded 
as simply fabulous ; but as we have considered the possibilities 
of Coca through the potential energy hidden in its leaf, it is 
very easy to trace the foundation of truth from these stories. 
The Indians were described as relying upon Coca for food and 
drink, with no other resource. "If you ask them why they 
thus continually keep Coca in the mouth and venerate it, they 
will answer you that its use prevents the feeling of hunger, 
thirst, and loss of strength, as well as preserves them in 
health." 2 Cieza refers to Coca as a most marvellous panacea 
"against hunger, or any need of food or drink." 3 

There was early desire on the part of the Church to dis- 
countenance the use of Coca, whether it contained food prop- 
erties or not, because of its superstitious associations. Its use 
must be prohibited because it was a substance "which is con- 
nected with the work of idolatry and sorcery, strengthening 
the wicked in their delusions, and asserted by every competent 
judge to possess no true virtues; but on the contrary, to cause 
the deaths of innumerable Indians, while it ruins the health 
of the few who survive." 4 So that in order to restore the use- 
fulness of Coca to the Indian, to whom it was found a neces- 
sity by his Spanish masters, this law was repealed after it had 
been demonstrated for politic reasons that Coca could not be 
a food. Some of the earlier writers presumed that any sus- 
taining action must be due to some starchy or mucilaginous 
properties in the leaf, and to maintain this hypothesis it was 

iFoyilSSe. 2 Monardes; 1580. * Cieza (Hakluyt) ; 1864. * Ordinance; 1567. 


asserted that every ounce of leaves yielded a half ounce of 
gum. Poeppig, who has written many hasty conclusions of 
Coca, denied this, because from repeated analysis he found 
such a small portion of mucilage in the leaf that its food prop- 
erties must be slight. He said: "The saliva of the Coca 
chewer is thin and watery, like that which flows from the 
chewing of tobacco, and it betrays not the least trace of sugar 
to the palate." 5 

Through all obstacles of prejudice or doubt the facts 
of the sustaining influence of Coca are so apparent as to be 
undeniable, and skepticism must be carried very far to now 
doubt the effect of Coca on nutrition. As Dr. Weddell has 
said : "One of two things is certain. Either the Coca contains 
some nutritive principle which directly sustains the strength 
or it does not contain it, and therefore simply deceives hunger 
while acting on the system." He was of the opinion that 
the nutritive principle of Coca might be due to the presence 
of a notable quantity of nitrogen, together with assimilable 
carbonized products. 

This same hesitancy between acknowledging effects which 
are apparent to all observers, united with a preformed preju- 
dice without the weight of scientific evidence, is still inter- 
mixed in the confusion of our own time. An indication of the 
readiness with w T hich opinion is swayed may be inferred from 
some of the letters received in my investigation. One physi- 
cian writes: "I quit the use of Coca after some publications 
in the journals. I was scared off too soon, probably." This 
conservatism, born of timidity, is shown through many replies 
similar to the following: "I scarcely ever prescribe a medi- 
cine unless it has been done by others more venturesome than 
myself; I think the hesitancy in prescribing Coca was owing 
to the numerous reports of the cocaine habit contracted by 
patients which have been published from time to time;" yet 
such so-called "habit," as elsewhere shown, is not proven. 

We have seen under what difficulty the Andeans were per- 
mitted to continue the use of Coca as a means of sustenance, 
and from that early superstition to the subsequent prejudice 

B Poeppig; 1835. 



' \ I, 



and confusion, which has continued even to our own time, it 
is not at all surprising that Coca has been little understood, 
wrongly applied, or has occasioned little thought toward its 
application as a food. 

The popular idea of the term food may possibly be em- 
bodied in the one word repletion without regard to 
whether the substance consumed is capable in itself to sustain 
the bodily functions. It is such a thought perhaps which 
prompted the reply to my inquiry as to the dietetic uses of 
Coca : "This is all a terrible mistake cocoa is used as food, 
but Coca, never!" The misconception of the term food, as 
well as the mistaken application arising from this, has laid the 
foundation for many a disease. Scientists well know that 
there is no one article of food that will supply all the require- 
ments of the organism. Nature demands a certain quantity 
of chemical elements, properly apportioned and combined, 
which shall go to repair the tissues. It is by this repeated aid 
that the complex process of living in the struggle for the main- 
tenance of supremacy or of even mere existence, is continued. 

The whole matter of dietetics is little understood not 
among those whose duty it is to explain such matters, but 
among the people who eat indiscriminately of whatever may 
be offered so long as it shall be of tempting form and palatable, 
and to whom the ponderable is commonly the more potent. 
This is often the occasion for much resultant misery, poor 
health, and consequent unhappiness, generated through an 
improper use of those blessings which are given to enjoy. It 
is use without abuse that should be impressed not abstinence, 
and yet not unbridled indulgence. Some who look at this 
narrowly are apt to moralize, as did the little chap when de- 
prived of his sweets and forced to castor oil : "All the good 
things is bad, and all the bad things is good." The fact is we 
become so familiarized with ordinary functions that their per- 
formance is often lightly dismissed as instinctive something 
which every one should know for himself. As a result few 
care to read physiology while well, and when they are ill it is 
too late. 

In a modern civilization desire is apt to seek indulgence in 


proportion to opportunity. There is a privilege in wealth, in- 
crease of which usually suggests freer methods, and greater 
comforts, which often point toward sensual indulgence rather 
than to any philosophy of living. Then follows not only 
luxuriance, but an extravagance and ultimate dis-ease, a veri- 
table want of ease and comfort. This has ever been the cycle 
since the world began, and it rolls on so easily and quickly 
that before excesses are even dreamed of much constitutional 
harm is done. But: "the doctors are here to attend to such 
little matters ; let them do the worrying, we will continue our 

The history of all aboriginal peoples indicates a simple 
dietary of natural products, a thought from which our vege- 
tarian friends doubtless find much prestige : 

"The field as yet untilled, their feasts afford 
And fill a sumptuous and unenvied board." 

sang Hesiod. We have seen how the Incans lived largely upon 
maize or the starchy food of various tubers ; yet while the 
common herd must find content in these, the nobility enriched 
their feasts with game and the various productions from the 
hot valleys and stimulated their desires or allayed the effects 
of over indulgence by Coca. Even fresh fish was served at 
the royal tables, brought by rapid runners, who by a special 
grant of a few handfuls of Coca were enabled to make a trip 
of several hundred miles from the sea to the imperial city of 
Cuzco in a single day. 6 

It is curious to consider how the first blind selections of 
foodstuffs may have been made in the early days when there 
were no botanists, chemists nor cooks. Many must have 
chosen wrongly and suffered for their boldness, for we know 
that similar errors are occurring about us everywhere and 
with equally unfortunate results. These early errors gave rise 
to the necessity for a more careful choice for an elective 
knowledge, and we who followed long ages after, while con- 
tinuing to profit by the methods of these early specialists bene- 
fit through their method of natural selection. We owe grati- 
tude for a multitude of important and what are now consid- 

"Prescott; I; p. 70; 1848. 


ered absolutely necessary foodstuffs which have been preserved 
and improved for us through a refinement of cultivation and 
are now universally used. Among these we have examples in 
those Peruvian products, Coca, maize and the potato, which 
have been so long cultivated that the most profound research 
has not been enabled to determine their original home in the 
wild state. 

We have seen why it is probable that aboriginal peoples 
were vegetarians, and we know through the ancient historians 
that the use of meat was often considered unlawful or unholy. 
Possibly the use of meat may be associated with the stimulus 
demanded in the incessant struggle for supremacy in the 
larger cities where statistics show its greater consumption 
than among agricultural people. Homer alludes to the mod- 
erate use of meat among his heroes, a chine of beef roasted 
being a favorite dish not often indulged in. Boiled meats and 
broths seem to have been among the earlier means of using 
flesh, but as tastes change, so these early simple methods soon 
gave place to greater variety. Then as the senses have ever 
led the judgment we read of wealthy gourmands who vied 
with each other in serving absurd and often disgusting dishes 
as epicurean delights. Apicius who wished for the neck of 
a stork that he might longer enjoy the delights of deglutition 
dissolved pearls and offered them in wine to his guests, and 
after squandering a fortune in dining killed himself because 
he had but a pafltry eighty thousand pounds left. 

Among some of the dainty relishes served during the 
early Grecian period was the dormouse, the hedgehog and 
puppies, while the flesh of the young ass was considered a del- 
icacy. Peacocks were regarded as essential to every well or- 
dered banquet, and Aufidius Lures is said to have derived an 
income of many thousands of dollars from the sale of these 
at a price of seven to eleven dollars apiece. Such fabulous 
sums were spent for single entertainments that Seneca, who 
was himself enormously wealthy, refers to the profusion of 
dishes and extravagance of the times when he alludes to : 

"Vitellius' table which did hold 
As many creatures as the ark of old." 



The Middle Ages were scarcely better in habits of indul- 
gence ; swans, peacocks and the wild boar continued among the 
delicacies of the table until long after the reign of Edward 
the Fourth, while Charles the Fifth of Germany was a royal 
gourmand who delighted in dishes quite as extravagant as 
any of those that graced the tables of the Greeks or Romans, 
some of his viands being lizard soup, roast horse and cats in 
jelly, which were washed down with c'.eep draughts of Rhine 

We have seen that among the Incas hospitality was con- 
sidered so essential as to demand a law necessitating and gov- 
erning its practice. On all state occasions the monarch 
feasted the nobles at a banquet, where important consumma- 

PEKUVIAN VASES. \Twcddle Collection 

tions were solemnized by royal bumpers of the native chiclia 
quaffed from golden goblets. Among the masses the usual 
hours for eating Avere eight or nine in the morning and at 
sunset; these latter periods Garcilasso says were sometimes 
turned into a veritable revelry extending far into the night, a 
custom which has not been wholly neglected among the mod- 
ern Andeans, who were quick to adopt the fiesta which is 
prompted on slight impulse in all Spanish countries. 

If we review the history of dietetics we shall find it fluc- 
tuating between indulgence and satiety, with an occasional 
interim of enforced fasting through necessity. During the 


last century many were actually starved through the return 
wave of abstemiousness, because of the scientific efforts of 
their medical advisers, many of whom like Dr. Sangrado, 7 
urged copious draughts of hot water with liberal blood letting, 
or insisted on some rigid dietary for all, unmindful of the 
fact that what might be advisable for a sick man may not 
prove desirable to one in health. Thus matters dietetical have 
largely balanced themselves through appetite and opportunity, 
while physicians have too commonly followed the methods of 
the masses and suffered or benefited in accordance with the 
resources of their environment. 

With such changes between excess and abstemiousness 
of too much or too little advice popular views have naturally 
been unsettled or indifferent on the diet question. It is unan- 
imous upon one point, however, and as Sancho Panza, 8 after 
he became Governor of the Island of Barataria "Having ap- 
petite, must eat something." It is to teach what this some- 
thing may be which proves the great stumbling block. It can 
only be broadly done in any book, the individual necessities 
must be the subject of personal attention. 

One value of knowledge is to recognize error ; it is nega- 
tive as well as affirmative. In matters dietetic there should 
be sufficient preliminary education to understand more closely 
not only what to eat with advantage but what to avoid in 
order to make better citizens. We are at present in an age of 
preventive methods of many things, and it would seem that 
the modern physician he who aims more especially to guide 
his patients so as to keep them from becoming ill, rather than 
he who confines his problems to curing them when prostrate 
may find the greatest and most profitable solution in the 
maintenance of health through an appropriate and well di- 
rected dietary. Without necessarily following we can adapt 
the means of others which seem desirable to our own necessi- 
ties. If in this adaption prejudice be set aside and the possi- 
bilities of Coca shall be considered, there will occur oppor- 
tunities which must ultimately result in a more pronounced 
benefit to overworked and overtired humanity. 

7 Le Sage; Gil Bias. 8 Cervantes; Don Quixote. 


It is only within the last fifty years that our chemico- 
physiologic knowledge in dietetics has developed from the 
foundation laid by Liebig, the work since his time tending 
chiefly to clearing up errors or explaining his theories, which 
are not yet fully accepted. From a review of the opinion of 
many physiologists it is difficult to give a concise definition of 
a food. In accordance with the theory here advocated I will 
thus define it: Food is any substance taken into the body 
which maintains integrity of the tissues and creates the en- 
ergy we term life. With such a definition in view, it may 
the more readily be appreciated that it is not necessarily what 
is eaten but what is assimilated that is beneficial. It is some- 
what as Froude has said of knowledge: "The knowledge 
which a man can use is the only real knowledge." So the food 
which the body utilizes is the only real food. This of neces- 
sity must vary with conditions and environment, and as civil- 
ization tends to shape all things to her own demands, it is the 
object of dietetics to adapt the varying possibilities to man's 

It is a common assertion advanced in all seriousness that 
one partakes of the nature of the food eaten. The vegetarian 
claims to see in the meat eater the ferocity of the carnivorous 
animal. The pugnacious beef-eating Briton and the seeming- 
ly docile Chinese rice-eater are sometimes cited as examples. 
Aside from the effect on the emotions as a result of compan- 
ionship there can be no weight to the homely saying: "He 
who drinks beer thinks beer." Again, the idea that : "Every 
part strengthens a part" is another common error, for physio- 
logically we know that bone does not make bone nor does fat 
make fat. There are many who presume that vegetables are 
the only appropriate food for man. Plutarch tells us that 
Grillus who, according to the doctrine of transmigration, 
had at one time been a beast describes how much better he 
fed and lived when an animal than when he was turned again 
to man. It is not necessary to accept this literally, but it sug- 
gests the fact that all flesh is grass and emphasizes the inde- 
structibility of matter. But man need not eat grass as did 
ISTebuchadnezzar, for when he eats animal flesh he virtually 


eats the very elements which are comprised in the vegetable 
kingdom and which have been appropriately elaborated. 

Our tissues are a combination of chemical elements, chief 
among which are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, with 
some minor ones present as salts in small proportions. These 
elements compose all animal cells, just as we have seen their 
presence is essential in vegetable structures. In order that the 
integrity of the tissues shall be maintained these principles 
must be introduced into the organism. It has been estimated 
that the average daily loss of these consists of carbon, 281.2 
grammes; hydrogen, 6.3 grammes; oxygen, 681.41 grammes; 
nitrogen, 18.8 grammes, 9 so that the selection of any dietary 
should be made to approximate this proportionate loss in order 
to balance waste. These elements are not of themselves food, 
nor can they synthetically be built into a food in the labo- 

Chemistry teaches us that energy is liberated by every 
chemical union, and so it is the conversion of the food mate- 
rials taken and containing these chemical elements which 
liberates the energy essential to continue the cell growth which 
constitutes existence. The body is but a colony of cells 
through which the several elements pass after an elaboration 
from inorganic compounds through vegetable and animal 
tissue. After their property is exerted to the maintenance of 
a higher organization they are cast aside, only to again pass 
through the cycle of elaboration and to be again consumed 
and so on for innumerable times without ultimate loss, but in 
each interchange yielding the energy we term life. 

Food substances according to variation of primal elements 
are embraced in two groups: The nitrogenous of which al- 
bumen is the type containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and 
nitrogen, comprises the proteids of which muscle and the 
structure of the body generally is formed, which among foods 
is represented by the lean of meat, fish and poultry, casein of 
milk and cheese, albumen of eggs, gelatin, gluten of cereals 
and the albuminous substance contained in such vegetables as 
peas, beans and lentils. The second class, the non-nitrogenous 

Kirkes'; p. 212; 1884. 



technically known as the carbohydrates contains carbon, 
hydrogen and oxygen and embraces the sugars and starches, 
however derived, and the oils and fats whether of cream, flesh, 
fish or fowl. 

Ths nitrogenous group constitutes the incombustible 
framework of the body, in which, according to Liebig, the sec- 
ond class the combustible non-nitrogenous fuel foods are 
consumed. It seems strange to speak of combustion, which is 
suggestive of fire, as going on within the body, but the process 
of chemical conversion within is akin to that of combustion 
without, and before food can reach its ultimate end in the re- 
pair of tissue, internal oxidation is essential to create heat, 
which is an index of the available force for work. The depri- 
vation of food is chiefly made manifest through heat loss, and 
starvation has been paralleled to death by cold, while in 
restoration from prolonged lack of food the application of 
warmth is at first really more essential than is food. 

From various physiological experiments it has been shown 
that animals fed exclusively on a non-nitrogenous diet speedily 
emaciate and die, as though from starvation, and experi- 
mentally life is more prolonged in those fed with nitrogenous 
than in those fed upon non-nitrogenous food, while animal 
heat is maintained fully as well by the former as by the 
latter. 10 Most of the evils of mankind are due to mal-nutri- 
tion, whereby the body undergoes changes which are com- 
parable to those resulting either from starvation or from over- 
production. Changes which are really induced not necessa- 
rily by taking too much or too little food, but from taking 
improper proportions of the two broad classes, or due to a 
lack of stimulus to a proper conversion. At times the excess 
will pass through the alimentary canal unchanged or re- 
main in the intestine unabsorbed, undergoing a slow decompo- 
sition setting free gases and inducing various digestive dis- 

The carbohydrates are readily converted into storage food, 
which, under certain conditions, may be transformed into fat, 
and this may so clog the working of the organs as to prove a 


decided detriment to the body rather than a source of strength. 
It is commonly considered, however, that an excess of nitro- 
genous food is the chief source of trouble in overfeeding, 
and possibly, because of concentration, this class of food may 
the more readily be eaten in excess unthinkingly. 

There is a vast physiological importance to the alimentary 
canal, for through it is introduced all the material which goes 
to build up the organism, including every chemical element 
of the body except oxygen. Hippocrates considered that 
the stomach bears the same relation to animals as soil does to 
plants, a parallel which leads a modern writer 11 to say: "A 
man whose digestion is defective is comparable to a tree which 
planted in sterile soil finishes by withering and perish- 
ing." -The alimentary canal, however, does not end at the 
stomach, an organ which is really a mere expanded reser- 
voir for the digestive tract. The fact that conversion and ab- 
sorption takes place through almost the entire extent of this 
canal is not commonly considered. There seems to prevail a 
popular idea that it is the stomach only which is responsible 
in preparing food for assimilation. This opinion was so prev- 
alent in the time of Dr. William Hunter that he remarked the 
error by saying to his class : "Gentlemen, physiologists will 
have it that the stomach is a mill; others that it is a ferment- 
ing vat ; others again that it is a stew-pan ; but in my view of 
the matter it is neither a mill, a fermenting vat nor a stew- 
pan, but a stomach, gentleman, a stomach." 

To effect the proper conversion of food its minute division 
is essential in order that the several digestive substances 
with which the bolus comes in contact in its passage through 
the alimentary canal may act upon the different parts for 
which they have an elective affinity. By the action of these 
enzymes, or ferments as they are termed, the food is ren- 
dered soluble, and so made capable of absorption. A substance 
taken as food which remains insoluble is virtually out of the 
body so far as nutrition is concerned and is really only an irri- 
tant. The whole process of digestion is one of solution so 
that the food may pass through the tissues into the blood. Ab- 

11 Beau ; Traite de la Dyspepsle. 



sorption takes place in every part of the digestive tract and as 
the unabsorbed mass is passed onward different ferments act 
upon different portions of the bolus to prepare it for solution. 
The process of mastication when properly performed not only 

breaks up the food and 
softens the mass with saliva 
ready for its transit, but 
sets free a ferment which 
changes the insoluble starchy 
particles into a soluble su- 
gar. The flow of saliva 
is increased by the act of 
chewing, or may even be 
effected reflexly by the emotions through the 
sympathetic nerve, either of which causes in- 
creases the blood supply to the secreting gland. 
There is an increased flow of saliva from 
chewing Coca which is not wholly dependent 
upon mastication, but the function is increased 
through physiological action. This may be the 
starting point of its beneficial influence in the 
conversion of starchy foods which is ultimately 
pronouncedly effective in the building up of 
muscular tissue. Then through its action upon 
the gastric secretions Coca furthers the diges- 
tive process instead of checking it by any an- 
aesthetic action on the stomach, as has been er- 
roneously suggested and as is commonly sup- 
posed. In this relation Dr. Weddle says : "I 
can affirm very positively that Coca, as it is 
taken habitually, does not 
TAPITI, FOR MAKING FAKINAH. satiate hunger. This is a 

fact of which I have con- 

vinced myself by daily experience. The Indians who accom- 
panied me on my journey chewed Coca during the whole day, 
but at evening they filled their stomachs like fasting men, and 
I am certain I have seen one devour as much food at a single 


meal as I should have consumed during two days." 


A host of modern observers have recognized the true food 
value of Coca in nutrition, particularly serviceable in the 
emergency of protracted fevers or in debility until other food 
may take its place, and life has been prolonged for long 
periods under the exclusive use of Coca during the enforced 
abstinence from other food.* Rusby found that Coca allays 
the hunger sense, but does not suspend ability, being really a 
tonic to digestion, while Reichert, from laboratory experi- 
ments, concluded that Coca might not only replace food, but 
"in cases of restricted diet, or even in the entire absence of 
food, will enable the individual to perform as much or even 
more work than under ordinary circumstances." 12 

There has been an attempt to explain this influence of 
Coca upon the sense of hunger through an anesthetic action 
on the mucous membrane of the stomach, which seems parallel 
to the idea that tobacco abolishes the sense of hunger through 
disgust by prostrating nervous action. But as Anstie says : 
"It is wholly improbable that agents having a depressing in- 
fluence on the nervous system, such as antimony and ipecac, 
would relieve the feeling of weakness occasioned through 
hunger and fatigue." 13 It should be recalled that the sense 
of hunger is not local, but general. It is the demand of the 
system for nourishment, a call for fuel in order to supply 
energy. The sensation is experienced by the stomach reflexly, 
but the demand may be fulfilled by the introduction of food 
into the organism through any channel. Thus the sensation 
of thirst which is commonly referred to a dryness in the 
throat may be relieved by the addition of fluid to the blood by 
any method. The probability is that Coca through its nitro- 
genous influence so affects metabolism as to enable the organ- 
ism to utilize substances which might otherwise pass off as 
waste. Just as we have seen in plant structures a similar 
influence under well-apportioned nitrogenous substances. 

The local effect on the stomach by the introduction of 
food is to cause the mucous membrane to become reddened 
through an increased blood supply. This stimulates the gas- 
tricusecretion of watery fluid, salts, pepsin and the acids which 

* See Food Uses, Collective Investigation in Appendix. 
"Reichert; October, 1890. 13 Anstie; 1864. 



render that ferment active. The action on starch which com- 
menced in the mouth is now checked and the solution of saline 
particles of the food is continued, while the insoluble nitro- 
genous bodies are converted into soluble peptones. The gastric 
juice also acts by retarding decomposition in bodies which arc 
prone to this change in the presence of warmth and moisture. 

From the stomach the food mass passes to the small in- 
testine, where the influence of the gastric fluid ceases and a 
new process is commenced by the bile, intestinal juice, and the 
secretions of the pancreas, acting in an alkaline fluid. Here 
the albuminous materials which have escaped the former 
processes are converted into soluble peptones, while any 
starchy matters which have not been converted by the ptyaline 
of the saliva are also acted upon and changed into glucose. 
The pancreatic juice also emulsifies the oils and fats, splitting 
them up into their fatty acids and glycerine to enable their 
more ready absorption by the lacteals of the intestine and by 
the blood vessels. 

Food does not pass through the digestive tract just as a 
weight might be dropped through a tube, but having once 
entered the oesophagus it is propelled by a peculiar undulating 
movement termed peristalsis a motion similar to the method 
by which an angle worm creeps along. The muscular fibres 
contract and draw a portion of the tube over the mass to be 
propelled, elongation then takes place and a succession of 
such waves rather draws the substance down than presses it 
on, while at the same time it is checked from too rapid passage, 
so that digestion may proceed. As the mass reaches the 
large intestine there is probably no digestive process con- 
tinued, though assimilation may take place through the ab- 
sorption of some portion of the fluids which have been carried 
there. This peristaltic motion throughout the digestive tract 
is governed by certain muscular fibres, physiologically in- 
fluenced by the action of Coca, which accounts for its bene- 
ficial effect in overcoming constipation. 

The average time of the passage of food along the ali- 
mentary canal is about twenty-four hours, during which tran- 
sit it is augmented by several gallons of fluids or juices which 


are concerned in the process of digestion. There is a con- 
stant interchange of these juices from the tissues of the di- 
gestive tract and the blood vessels which supply them, ab- 
sorption taking place wherever there are blood vessels with 
their accompanying lymphatics, and the tissues of the body 
are bathed in a sort of lymph at all times even outside of the 
vessels. Such fluid as may not be directly absorbed into the 
blood is carried towards the heart and soon becomes part of 
the circulation, while the refuse is passed off as excreta. 

To the liver, which is the largest glandular organ of the 
body, is attributed a marked influence upon the emotions, 
an effect really dependent on the fact whether the excreta of 
the blood are properly converted and eliminated or not. As 
Henry Ward Beecher said: "When a man's liver is out of 
order the kingdom of heaven is out of joint," and I presume 
he knew. Certain it is that there has always been associated 
with the imperfect action of this organ the idea of despair, 
which the Greeks presumed due to "black bile" and hence 
named melancholia pehas black, X^H bile. The liver 
forms an important function in nutrition not only in the elab- 
oration and purification of the blood, but also in a peculiar 
property of forming glucose or a substance akin to sugar or 
to the starch of plants which is stored up in the liver cells 14 
to be doled out as occasion may demand for the purpose of 
combustion or the formation of fat. 15 So active is this func- 
tion that the liver even continues after death to make glycogen, 
as is termed this first product in its sugar formation. 

This animal starch is elaborated chiefly from saccharine or 
starchy foods, though it is also made from proteids, which are 
split up into glycogen and urea a striking example of direct 
conversion within the body from nitrogenous into a non-nitro- 
genous substance. The readiness with which the liver forms 
sugar indicates the possibility of its over production, which is 
indeed what takes place in glycosuria when the increase of the 
small amount of sugar which may normally be found in the 
blood is probably augmented through some nervous impulse 
and excreted by the kidneys. 

"Bernard; 1877. Idem; 1853. 



The influence of Coca upon nutrition is markedly evi- 
denced by its physiological action, and specifically by the 
effect of cocaine on glycogen conversion, as demonstrated by 
the experiments of Ehrlich 16 on the cells of the liver of mice, 
which under cocaine resembled stuffed goose livers. It should 
be recalled that the food must be rendered soluble before it 
can enter the circulation, and once in the blood, if the soluble 
products of starch grape sugar, and the soluble peptones 
from proteids can not be converted into insoluble products 
they will be swept out of the body through the kidneys. This 
is precisely what occurs in certain forms of albuminuria and 
glycosuria. The conversion of similar substances in plant 
structures under the influence of nitrogenous compounds 
strongly suggests the utility of the nitrogenous Coca in the 
conversion of these soluble products into less soluble glycogen 
and proteids, and indicates a possible application of Coca to 
the relief of diabetes and albuminuria, disorders in which it 
has already been employed empirically with advantage. 

Man's chief desire is to acquire strength and energy for 
the furtherance of his ambition, be that of a physical or men- 
tal nature. The intelligent being should base his sustenance 
upon this hopeful instinct. One engaged in active work in 
the open air usually finds appetite for the food presented 
without being over fastidious. Throughout the greater part 
of British India and China the majority of the people live 
largely upon rice stimulated in its conversion to muscle energy 
through the nitrogenous influence of a liberal tea drinking. 
Diametrically opposite on the globe, amidst the cold and rig- 
ors of the higher altitude of the Andes the Indian finds his 
powers effectively sustained by a diet of maize and nitrogen- 
ous Coca leaves. Science has verified this crude empirical 
experience by proving that carbohydrates contribute force 
when properly converted and that Coca not only creates men- 
tal energy, but muscular power through an actual change 
within the tissue cells. These are facts which it is well to 

Every one realizes that active muscular work provokes 

is Ehrlich; p. 717; 1890. 






fatigue and hunger, but few seem to appreciate that force ex- 
penditure is going on within the body all Ae time. Everj 
movement, be it the most simple, whether the evolution oi 
gentle thought in prayer, the turbulence of passion, even the 
vital changes incidental to existence, although performed un- 
consciously, each occasions a conversion of tissue which de 
mands repair. That these functions shall be performed to 
the end nature has made the brain and nerves imperious ii 
their demand for nourishment. These tissues are chiefly com- 
posed of fat and 'in case of impoverishment every other tissue 
must yield to their support. First a wasting of the adipose 
tissue, then the glandular, then the muscles and blood, and if 
life be further prolonged, brain and nerves would suffer last. 

Food therefore is essential to maintain bodily repair in 
mental work as well as in muscular, for brain work indeed is 
hungry work, even though the pre-occupied worker may for- 
get whether he has dined or not. At such times what might 
be termed emergency food is desirable to stimulate the flagging 
forces to activity; a stimulation which we have seen is not 
done at the expense of essential bodily tissue, for the storage 
food merely is what is used up, that which has providentially 
been put away at a period of overproduction to nourish and 
support in the time of need. It is in this quality that the 
glycogen in the liver cells or the fat about the muscles acts as 
a preserver of other tissue. 

Fat is not necessarily created from fat, but has its origin 
in th